After reading the Prioress tale and browsing the site, choose three question from bellow and answer it in the comment sections for reflection. Each answer should be two to five sentences long and detailed. Then choose one of the three to write a short three paragraph essay on, choose wisely. Use at least on direct quote from the book for each question answered and three for the short essay.
  1. How does the time period affect the tale? (Give detailed examples)

  2. How does the opening prayer relate to the first two pages of the tale? 

  3. What does the death of the widow’s son symbolize about the attitude towards Jews? Are there any biblical connections between the death of the boy and any other biblical characters? 

  4. How does the Prioress relate to the tale? 

  5. What role does the Virgin Mary play in the tale? 

  6. Generate a list of the widow’s sons desires, how does the desires correspond to his personality? (Be specific with evidence and psychoanalytical theories) 

  7. What does the song mean, metaphorically and literally?

  8. Why does the Prioress ask for pity in her prologue? 

  9. Why do you think the widow’s son sing O Alma Redemptoris, a song about death,  while he’s dying? (Incorporate the meaning of the song and the symbolism behind it when answering)

  10. How does the boy relate to Christmas? (**hint: the birth of Jesus Christ)

Submit Short Essay Below

Based on the tale characterize the Prioress and the Widow? How do the two relate to each other and differ? Though Chaucer doesn't give much information on the Widow's Husband what can we infer about him, and how does he affect the tale?
'This song, I have heard say,
Is to salute Our Blessed Lady; She
Will hear us when we tun to her and pray
For help and comfort on our dying day....' (Chaucer 172)
What does the song O Alma Redemptoris symbolize? Is it appropriate for the tale? How does the song relate to the Prioress and her prayer in  her portrait? 
First our foes, the Serpent Satan shook 
Those Jewish hearts that are his waspish nest, 
Swelled Up and said, 'O hebrew people look! 
Is this not something that should be redressed?
 Is such a boy to roam as he thinks best 
Singing to spite you, canticles and saws 
Against the reverence of your holy laws?' 

From that time forward all these Jews conspired
To chase this innocent child from the earth's face."  (Chaucer 172-173)  
Why is it that the serpent Satan can easily anger the Jews? Why is the song O Alma Redemptoris a sore topic for the Jews?