Chaucer
Essays

The Necessary Duality of Order and Disorder in Chaucer’s Societies

Chaucer’s “The Parliament of Fowls” and “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” both explore order and disorder in an animal society. By using animals rather than human beings, Chaucer is able to approach with a dichotomy, simultaneously emulating and parodying human society. Chaucer seeks to show the necessary co-dependent relationship between order and disorder. Disorder is characterized as compulsory for order to exist or function. It is this necessary duality that lies at the heart of both texts, and makes the narratives so intricate and compelling.

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