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The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale Theme of Justice and Judgment

"The Second Nun's Tale" juxtaposes the good judgment of Valerian and Tiburtius in immediately accepting Christianity's truths with the very bad judgment of Almachius, who judges Christians as guilty of a crime. In portraying Almachius as a senseless judge, Cecilia points to the fact that only God is the true judge. Accordingly, this story shows those who follow God's rules receiving their just rewards in eternal life with him.

Questions About Justice and Judgment

  1. Who displays good judgment in "The Second Nun's Tale"? How are they rewarded?
  2. Who displays bad judgment? Why?
  3. How is the discernment of truth related to the judgment of people in "The Second Nun's Tale"?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In its juxtaposition of the discernment of truth with the judgment of people, "The Second Nun's Tale" portrays these two forms of judgment as inextricably connected to one another. "The Second Nun's Tale" shows how God rewards a Christian's good judgment with his own.

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