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Q: Which of these do "The Nun's Priest's Tale" and The Pearl have in common? Both were written by Chaucer. Both are dream-visions. Both are elegies. Both are mock-heroic.
A: This tale is in many ways a return to the ground, a return to basics. We start with a poor widow, and a dusty yard - a setting far removed from the high-culture classical tragedies of the Monk. [ [ Moreover, the tale keeps emphasizing anality and bottoms - in Chaunticleer?s two examples of dreams-coming-true, a dung cart and a breaking ship?s ?bottom? are the hinge of the story, and Pertelote?s
advice to Chaunticleer is to take some ?laxatyf? to clear out his humours. There is a good-natured sense of groundedness about this tale, a return ? after the dark run of Monk (interrupted), before him the punishing Melibee (and interrupted Sir Thopas) and bitter Prioress ? to the humour and warmth of the early tales. Yet its theme also darkly foreshadows the end of the tale-telling project itself. If the tale, taken simplistically, does endorse prophetic dreams (though, as mentioned above, a look at the animal nature of its characters might be seen as parodying the whole concept!) then what is the ?moral? that the narrator wants us to take away at the end? As ever, this isn?t totally clear. Yet one thing it might be is the importance of speaking or not speaking. One of the things that makes Chaunticleer the morally-representative chicken a problem is the fact that he can speak and argue with his wife on the one hand, yet cry ?cok! Cok!? when he sees a grain on the floor. He is both chicken and human, rather like Chaucer writes as both himself and as Nun?s Priest. The tale, however, is structured by people knowing when to speak and not knowing when to speak: Pertelote speaks out to wake Chaunticleer from his dream, Chaunticleer foolishly opens his mouth to sing for the fox when he is captured, and it is Chaunticleer?s final visitation of the trap that he himself fell into on the fox which causes him in turn to open his mouth ? and let Chaunticleer go. Know when you should ?jangle? (chatter) and know when to hold your peace. ] ]
Krishnaveni|Points 19|
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Asked 6/10/2012 6:10:32 PM
Updated 6/10/2012 6:40:27 PM
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The answer is Both are dream-visions.
Added 6/10/2012 6:40:33 PM
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