The Prioress is implied to be a contradictory figure in the prologue of the Canterbury Tales. She was first introduced to be an aristocratic and pious nun. In fact, she is a religious fanatic.
The Prioress is one of the central characters of the Canterbury Tales. She turns out to be the figure of multiple contradictions. She is the first character in the book described with precision since her role is crucial in all the events. Her prologue exactly corresponds to the character and her position. Chaucer depicted her as a dainty woman who incoherently speaks French. She sings through her nose and eats carefully without a single drop of food since she intends to look courtly. She is a nun. Thus, she has a secretary who helps her with everyday duties and three priests who perform the abbey’s sacraments. She wants to be perceived as a religious person. However, her behavior seems to be quite strange as she avoids revealing her true feelings.
Even though the Prioress, whose real name is Madame Eglantine, looks delicate, her body features are extensive. She is always dressed elegantly. Yet, being a nun presupposes wearing humble clothes while hers is expensive and rich in color. She carries a pendant and beads. Yet, what is peculiar here is that a regular nun would have a crucifix on the end of the charm, while she prefers the vanity beads. As a result, her pendant instead refers to the romance between a maiden and a hero, while it should allude to God’s love. Overall, her character is very confusing. Her appearance and behavior do not fit in the definition of a religious person.