The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Archer, John. "The Structure of Anti-Semitism in the Prioress's Tale." 19 (1984): 46-54.
Medieval Christianity taught that the Jews were solely responsible for Jesus's death and that they perpetually commit that sin. In the Middle Ages, Herod's slaughter of the innocents continued to be associated with Jews, who were believed to kill male virgins in satanic rituals. The Prioress plays on the perception of Jews as murderous usurers in her depiction of the little boy. Anti-Semitism also informs perceptions of secular law and Old and New Testament law throughout the tale.