Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne
Entuned in hir nose ful seemly,
And Frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,
For Frenssh of Parys was to hir unknowe.
– Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales, General Prologue. In the period of the poem, nuns were meant to worship the Lord and not care too much about themselves. But it is quite the opposite with the Prioress. She wears richly ornamented clothes, sings through her nose, speaks French with a terrible accent, tries to appear well bred and dainty. When she should be devoting herself to Christ, she seems more concerned with matters of this world. This nun, who lives a secular lifestyle and uses her positon for social advancement, is a satirical figure and an ironic contrast to what is generally expected in a prioress.