The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Collette, Carolyn P. "A Closer Look at Seinte Cecile's Special Vision." 10 (1976): 337-49.
Chaucer constructs the Second Nun's Tale on the polarity of sight and blindness, merely seeing as opposed to understanding. This dichotomy involves "wisdom and the relation of the body to the spirit" (338). Timaeus, De doctrina christiana, and Psychomachia also examine this theme, and study of these three works elucidates the Second Nun's Tale. The Prologue establishes the limits of the flesh but also indicates its victories. The action of the tale shows how men should subdue their fleshly desires, seek spiritual vision, and ultimately gain wisdom.