Vol. 37 No. 1 (1989)
Research Article

Chaucer's “Nun's Priest's Tale,” VII.3218

Published 1989-06-01



The statement that the fox in Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale breaks through a hedge to penetrate Chauntec1eer's barnyard would seem to conflict with the earlier description of the barnyard as surrounded by a fence and a dry ditch. The apparent anomaly may be resolved, however, if we recognize that breaking through hedges could be a conventional activity for a fox, not necessarily linked to the topography of a particular expedition. Such a possibility is suggested by the name Percehaie ‘hedge breaker’ of Renart's son in Le Roman de Renart, one of the sources for Chaucer's tale.


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