The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
Character Role Analysis
Cecilia is definitely the heroine of this story. All of the other characters exist in it only to testify to her holiness. For more on this, see the "Genre" and "Characters" sections. However, we should qualify this role identification by pointing out that, like all virgin martyr legends, part of this story's purpose is to show how Cecilia's abilities and sanctity originate not with her, but with God. Accordingly, Cecilia's concerns and motivations aren't hers alone – they're God's.