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The prologue to the prioress’ tale is short. She praises the Trinity and the Virgin Mary, whom her tale involves.

True to her form, as a nun, the prioress’ tale is a miracle story about a 7 year old boy and the Virgin Mary. In a Christian city in Asia, where the Jews were kept in one quarter and the Christian’s everywhere else, there was a small Christian school. A boy at that school had been told from birth to honor the Virgin Mary, and to fall to his knees when he saw her image. One day at school he heard a group of older boys singing Almer redemptoris (Mother of our redeemer), a latin hymn praising the Virgin. When he learns that the song is in praise of the Virgin, he, with the aid of an older boy, learns the song in it’s entirety. Quite taken with this new form of praise he can send to the Virgin, he sings the song constantly, even through the Jewish quarter. The Jews, believing he is singing the song to mock their religion, hire an assassin to kill him. The assassin follows the boy into an alley, slits his throat, and throws him into the gutter. The boy’s mother, a widow, stays up all night waiting for her son, and when he doesn’t return she goes out looking for him, even asking the Jews if they have seen him. The Jews all deny having seen him, but Jesus appears to her and guides her to the gutter where her son is lying. He is not dead, though, by the grace of Mary he is still singing Almer redemptoris, incessantly. When he is brought to a priest, the priest asks how he can continue singing with his throat slit. The boy explains that the Virgin placed a pearl on his tongue, such that he will keep singing until the pearl is removed. The priest removes the pearl, and the boy dies peacefully.

Obviously this is a miracle tale, with both the boy’s miracle and Jesus helping the widow find her son. This should be expected, the teller is a devout nun, and doubtless will incorporate religion or miracles into any tale she should tell. The main character is the boy, although the Virgin plays an extensive role in the tale, indirectly. Every action on the boy’s part is brought on by his adoration for the Virgin, perhaps an adoration shared by the Prioress telling the story. The Prioress’ point to this story is that praising the Trinity and the Virgin is more important even than life, an opinion she probably fervently believed.


Done in accordance with node your homework. I haven't even gotten a grade on this yet.

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