illustration of a clergyman with Canterbury cathedral behind him

The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

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11: The Nun's Priest's Tale Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. In what genre is The Nun's Priest's Tale written?

2. How do the rooster and the hens and the fox reflect the typical format of this genre?

3. How has Chaucer altered the traditional plot of this old tale?

4. What is the obvious moral theme?

5. What is the more subtle theme of the story?

6. What is Chanticleer's great fault?

7. What is the redeeming quality that prevents his destruction?

8. What commentary about the nature of women is inserted in this tale?

9. What brings an end to the long list of tragedies the Monk was recounting?

10. How has the Monk revenged himself on Harry Bailley?

Answers
1. It is written as a beast fable.

2. They are animals who have been given human characteristics, situations, and problems.

3. In the models, Chanticleer is totally vain and without wisdom; in Chaucer's version, the rooster is a victim of love and learns from his mistake.

4. Do not listen to or act upon flattery.

5. Beware the advice of women.

6. He is vain.

7. He learns from his mistake and is not victimized a second time.

8. Women are the source of sin and are not to be trusted as
advisors.

9. The Knight interrupts and says the audience has had enough and is growing depressed.

10. He has nearly bored the Host to death.

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10: The Monk's Tale Questions and Answers

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12: The Wife of Bath's Tale Questions and Answers