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The story of “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” happens in a farm where a woman and her two daughters resided. They keep domestic animals on the farm, including a cock called Chanticleer, with beautiful feathers and a beautiful voice. Chanticleer is very much in love with a hen called Pertelote. One day Chanticleer experiences a bad dream. He tells Pertelote about how he dreamed of a dog-like animal eating him alive. Pertelote, laughs at his fear toward the dream and proposes that it was due to some physical disorder that Chanticleer had. Chanticleer gets convinced by Pertelote and does not pay attention to the dream anymore. However, on one particular day his nightmare comes true. A fox slips in the farm and tricks Chanticleer. However, the fox is not that clever as Chanticleer tricks him too and makes him open his mouth making the cock to escape from his mouth.  

During the medieval period, anti-feminist was a huge aspect of the society. The society during this period mostly revolved around men and women. A woman had to know her place as well that of the man in the society. Women had no powers during this era, the only power that a woman processed came only during marriage where the family of the bride would pay dowry to the family of the groom in exchange for marrying their daughter. Women’s influences were extremely underestimated during this period. Because of this, anti-feminism was without a doubt one of the major opinions during the middle ages. Having such a big impact on the medieval society, anti-feminism was a major topic in several Chaucer’s literatures such as the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale”

Chaucer in this text suggests that a woman’s advice should not be takes. According to Chaucer, women’s advices and opinions contribute to the downfall of men and they are to blame for the mistakes of men. He says that the counsel of a woman is most often than not cold, and leads a man to the path of destruction (Chaucer 226). However, Chaucer seems to have other motives that are totally different from defacing women. He manages to raise discussions among different scholars on whether Pertelote should or should not be to blame for Chanticleer’s misfortunes with the fox. Here Chaucer displays men as weak as to make irrational decisions because of women. Chanticleer can make his own choices; he had the chance of deducing meaning in his dream however he wanted. This tale is not all about how women give women misleading advice; it has a different dilemma at hand. One can deduce that chanticleer’s problems are not because he takes the counsel of a woman, but rather, because he does not make his own choices. What sway him away from his if not good judgment is Pertelote’s beauty; not her advice as most people would otherwise think.

Chaucer gives women superiority in this tale; he gives them the upper hand because of their good looks. Chaucer does not make direct anti-feminism impressions, but instead displays the secret weapon that women use in convincing men to do what they want. Men in the middle ages objectified women. Chaucer represents this in his text when he says that the hens were there for the cock’s pleasure. In another part he says “Of seven hens, all there to do his pleasure. Chanticleer had seven wives but Chaucer informs us that he only loved one of them (Lady Pertelote); the other six were there just there for his satisfaction. The anti-feminism theme is apparent in this text as it was around that period.

The story gets told by the nun’s cleric, who was perhaps not praised as such in monasteries in medieval time, this text directly shows his state of mind. Being a highly educated man living with nuns that probably did not respect him, it was perceptibly natural for him to be a bit mentally biased. For that reason, he told this story, acerbically, and sets a direct opposite to his position. Additionally, this story served the purpose as an escape for him, in which Chanticleer, the only cock, and for that reason was like a ruler who was highly thought of by the hens. Although this in some way was somehow out his status, in his words, there were essentially many signs of anti-feminism.

The views to women were in many instances revealed in the story. During this period, women were seen to be no better that goods, and in most of the times considered unlucky. For example in page 211 Chaucer says the woman is the beginning for a man’s ruin. Furthermore, in pages 213 and 215, Chaucer considers women’s advice as fatal because they were considered stupid. Another evidence in the text is in the name “Pertelote” which refers to “someone who confuses another’s fate”, although it is most likely that Chaucer displays aspects of anti-feminism in the story, it evident that it was the male (Chanticleer) who paid attention to the flatters of the women consequently making stupid decisions, but still we can clearly detect how women were getting treated during that time.


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