The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is one of the most important works of literature from the Middle Ages. It tells the story of a group of travelers on their pilgrimage to Canterbury, England. Along the way, they tell tales to pass time and entertain each other. One of these characters is the Prioress, who has a key role in the narrative.
The Prioress is an important character in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. She is described as a nun who has been put in charge of a convent by her abbess. In addition to being responsible for her own religious welfare, she also looks after her nuns and makes sure they follow all of their religious obligations according to the Rule of St. Benedict. The Prioress also guides them in their spiritual journeys and encourages them to pray and do good works.
The Prioress is portrayed as a kind and gentle woman who loves animals and children, especially those who are less fortunate than herself. She speaks French fluently and has an excellent command of Latin, which was very rare for women at that time. She is also very generous with her money, always giving alms to those in need even though she does not have much herself. Finally, she is described as being “so discreet/So charitable and so pitous”. These qualities make her stand out from other characters in the story—especially since she is such an unlikely protagonist given her station as a nun!