In "The Nun's Priest's Tale," why is Chanticleer a round character in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales?

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lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By definition, round characters are well-developed and flat characters are not developed.  Sometimes round characters are also considered dynamic characters (as compared to static) because they have the ability to change and grow.  Chanticleer is considered a round character because we actually learn quite a bit about his life and personality through the this tale.  Chanticleer is a very busy with all of "lady" hens and appears to be quite popular.  He is also characterizedto be lacking in courage as he reveals his bad dreams to Pertelote, his favorite of the hens.  She and he have an interesting relationship because she challenges his fears and calls him out on his lack of bravery.  An interesting contrast to this side of his personality is very strong pride over this singing voice.  It is this pride that gets him trouble with the sly Russell the Fox.  Luckily, he is able to escape the Fox with a clever reversal, but all of this story reveals several interesting sides of Chanticleer, making him more than a stereotypical rooster who struts around and makes a lot of noise. He learns a lesson about his fears and his talents and is a changed rooster by the end of the tale.

howesk eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A round character is defined as a character that is neither purely good nor purely evil. A round character should have both flaws and virtues that are evident.

A the beginning of the tale, Chanticleer is praised for his attractiveness and excellent crowing abilities. These would both be positive qualities. Chanticleer's worry in his dream also indicates that he is able to feel, and to have concern. Chanticleer also expresses love towards Pertelote.

Chanticleer's flaw is his vanity. He is wooed by the fox's flattery enough to be captured. He loves to be flattered. He learned his lesson by the end of the tale, though, when he smartly escapes the fox's jaws.

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The Canterbury Tales

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