The Nun's Priest's Tale is one of Chaucer's most brilliant tales, and it functions on several levels. The tale is an outstanding example of the literary style known as a bestiary (or a beast fable) in which animals behave like human beings. Consequently, this type of fable is often an insult to man or a commentary on man's foibles. To suggest that animals behave like humans is to suggest that humans often behave like animals.This tale is told using the technique of the mock-heroic, which takes a trivial event and elevates it into something of great universal import. Alexander Pope's poem The Rape of the Lock is an excellent example a mock-heroic composition; it treats a trivial event (the theft of a lock of hair, in this case) as if it were sublime. Thus when Don Russel, the fox, runs off with Chaunticleer in his jaws, the chase
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Chaunticleer, Lady Pertelote, trivial event, Don Russel, epic heroes. Chaucer, great universal import.