Because nuns in Chaucer's time were compelled to read stories of the saints, the tale of Cecilia is an apt selection for the Second Nun simply because she is a nun and is extremely modest and shy. Her invocation to Mary is typical for all stories, but more so here because the story of St. Cecilia is a story of chastity. The interpretation of a name was a favorite device during Chaucer's day. Although the Second Nun's interpretation is not correct from an etymological viewpoint, it includes a traditional interpretation that identifies Cecilia with the "heavenly lily for her Chaste virginity"; a road for the blind (non-Christian) by the example of her teachings; a combination of heaven and the biblical Leah who represents the active or busy life; and heaven made visible to the ordinary people. Just as men see the sun, moon, and stars in heaven, so they see in this maiden her faith and
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.