The Canterbury Tales

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The Prioress Character Analysis

The Prioress attempts to be dainty and well-bred, and Chaucer makes fun of her by describing how she speaks French with a terrible accent and sings the liturgy straight through her nose. Although the Prioress should be devoted to Christ, she is more concerned with worldly matters: her clothes are richly bedecked, and her coral rosary that says “Love conquers all” serves as a decorative piece rather than a religious article.

The Prioress Quotes in The Canterbury Tales

The The Canterbury Tales quotes below are all either spoken by The Prioress or refer to The Prioress. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Satire Theme Icon
).
General Prologue Quotes

Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne
Entuned in hir nose ful seemly,
And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,
For Frenssh of Parys was to hir unknowe.

Related Characters: Chaucer (speaker), The Prioress
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The Prioress Character Timeline in The Canterbury Tales

The timeline below shows where the character The Prioress appears in The Canterbury Tales. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
General Prologue
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Church Corruption Theme Icon
Writing and Authorship Theme Icon
The narrator next describes the Prioress, a nun named Madame Eglentyne. She sings the liturgy through her nose. She speaks French... (full context)
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Church Corruption Theme Icon
Writing and Authorship Theme Icon
The Prioress is so charitable and compassionate, the narrator says, that whenever she sees a mouse caught... (full context)
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Church Corruption Theme Icon
Writing and Authorship Theme Icon
The Prioress wears a wimple draped to show off her well-formed nose, gray eyes, and small red... (full context)
The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue
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Friendship and Company Theme Icon
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...right. The Host agrees and turns to the Nun’s Priest, who is travelling with the Prioress and the Second Nun, and asks for a merry tale. The Nun’s Priest says that... (full context)