Presentation on theme: "The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Definitions Prioress- head of a convent of nuns Abbess- a woman who is the superior of a group of nuns."— Presentation transcript:
Definitions Prioress- head of a convent of nuns Abbess- a woman who is the superior of a group of nuns Internal Authority The abbess held authority over nuns and other members in the community She was in charge of food and clothing distribution, and she assigned duties The abbess had spiritual and secular duties She was responsible for the welfare of the women whom she cared for She had to hear daily confessions to impose discipline, but she was denied the right to give penance
External Duties She acted as a representative for the community before the rulers The abbess’ external authority was determined by her independence from the clerical hierarchies During the Middle Ages women were seen as the inferior gender, however their social/political role was significant and less restricted
Where? The abbess lived among a community of nuns in a monastery They often traveled to accomplish external duties and to serve as representatives When? There were age limits for eligibility for being elected The title of abbess has been found as early as an inscription from 514 Why? This occupation is significant because it shows women’s role in the Middle Ages They organized church services, regulated activities of canons and priests, held courts, and made visitations to exercise their power,and to preserve the Faith
How was the abbess elected? The abbess was elected by all the nuns of the community, and in some cases men were allowed to vote The bishop presided over the election and confirmed the elected candidate There were eligibility requirements Gregory the Great introduced an age limit and virgin rule, but qualified females could still become an abbess
The Nun is one of the characters traveling on the journey in the story Her name is Madam Eglantyne, and she happens to be a prioress She is described as polite, well-mannered, graceful, dignified, and compassionate In her prologue, she offers a hymn of praise to the Virgin Mary The hymn foreshadows the tale she tells Her order relies on the patronage of the Virgin Mary
The prioress calls on the Virgin Mary for help with telling her tale A widow’s son attends a Christian school located at the edge of a Jeweish ghetto He was singing Alma Redemptoris (Gracious Mother of the Redeemer) while walking through the ghetto Some Jews hire a murderer to slit the boy’s throat The Jews refuse to tell the mother where her son is, however he begins to sing and the Christians are able to find him The Jews are found guilty of murder and then ordered to be drawn apart by horses
Lewis, Jone. “Abesses in Women’s Religious History”. Women’s History. About.com. 27 Jan 2013. “The Prioress’ Prologue and Tale”.The Canturbury Tales.Cliffnotes. 27 Jan 2013. Schaus,Margaret.”Abbesses”. Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. 27 Jan 2013. (online encyclopedia) Images “prioress” from sitemaker.umich.edu “nun” from 123RF.com “hire me” from www.nesc.k12.nd.uswww.nesc.k12.nd.us “Holy nun” from www.polyvore.comwww.polyvore.com “The Prioress from the Canterbury Tales”.Caxton’s Edition 1485. yaymicro. 27 Jan 2013.