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The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer


Character Analysis

Tiburtius is Valerian's brother, who comes to the Christian faith because of the "boon" or gift Valerian asks of Cecilia's angel. Tiburtius undergoes a much more intellectual or "bookish" conversion than his brother. Although he agrees with the basic truth of the Christian God's sovereignty, he's quick to question Cecilia on her reference to another God, Christ, which he believes conflicts with Christianity's worship of only one God. Tiburtius's question leads to Cecilia's extended speech about some specifics of Christian theology, including Christ's incarnation and the three persons in one God of the Trinity. Tiburtius thus provides the opportunity for Cecilia to demonstrate her teacher-ly skills. He's also another member of the new spiritual 'family' Cecilia and Valerian have formed. Also, as Valerian's first convert, Tiburtius provides immediate proof of the depth and purity of Valerian's faith.

Tiburtius Timeline