Can you give me some details regarding Chaucer's description of the Nun in "The General Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales?

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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are technically two nuns mentioned in "The General Prologue" to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. There's a main nun—more typically known as the Prioress—and another nun who travels with her. Since Chaucer spends a considerable amount of time describing the Prioress and basically no time telling us what the second nun is like, I'll assume you want to know more about the Prioress.

The Prioress is a pious, dainty, sweet woman with impeccable manners. Overall, Chaucer describes her as being sentimental and kind, and one senses she is a little removed from the harsh realities of life. The Prioress tells a story about a zealous young boy murdered for his Christian faith, so it's obvious the Prioress is an earnest Christian woman who holds her faith in the highest degree.

It's difficult to get an idea of what the second nun looks like, as Chaucer never really describes her. Since the second nun's tale is similar to the Prioress' tale (both deal with some kind of martyr), we can assume she is like the Prioress: sweet, sentimental, and pious. 

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The Canterbury Tales

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