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Unformatted text preview: The Nun's Priest's ideas and positions are set up in his genially ironic attitude toward both the simple life of the widow and the life of the rich and the great as represented by the cock, Chaunticleer (in Chaucer's English, the name means "clear singing"). The Nun's Priest's opening lines set up the contrast. A poor old widow with little property and small income leads a sparse life, and it does not cost much for her to get along. The implication is that living the humble Christian life is easier for the poor than for the rich, who have, like Chaunticleer, many obligations and great responsibilities (after all, if Chaunticleer does not crow at dawn, the sun cannot rise). The Nun's Priest contrasts the two human worlds of the poor and the rich in the description of the poor widow and the elegant Chaunticleer. The widow's "bour and halle" (bedroom) was "ful sooty," that is black from the hearth-flame where she had eaten many a slim or slender meal. Notice the that is black from the hearth-flame where she had eaten many a slim or slender meal....
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- Fall '11