The Second Nun's Tale in The Canterbury Tales: Theme & Analysis


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'The Second Nun's Tale' is a hagiography, which means _____

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1. In The Second Nun's Tale, Valerian is warned not to defile Cecilia with an impure act, because _____

2. In The Second Nun's Tale, Cecilia survived with a terrible gash in her neck for three days. During this time she _____

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

This quiz and worksheet is designed to check your knowledge of The Second Nun's Tale from The Canterbury Tales. You'll review the type of story it is and what happens to the characters during the plot.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Use this quiz and worksheet to focus on what you know about:

  • What a hagiography is
  • Why Valerian is warned not to defile Cecelia with an impure act
  • What Cecelia does while she suffers from a terrible gash in her neck
  • What the characters' willingness to be martyred is a testament to

Skills Practiced

  • Information recall - use your knowledge to define 'hagiography'
  • Reading comprehension - from what you read, ensure you are able to draw out why Valerian is warned not to defile Cecelia
  • Making connections - use understanding of Maximus's claim about Valerian and his brother's souls to recognize how it impacts the theme of morality in the story

Additional Learning

If you would like to find a more comprehensive overview of this topic, you can look in the lesson, The Second Nun's Tale in The Canterbury Tales: Theme & Analysis. This lesson offers a deeper look at:

  • Who Cecelia marries in the story
  • Why Cecelia sends her husband to be baptized
  • What happens to Maximus and Cecelia
  • The characteristics of a female saint
  • Women's power over powerful men in the story
  • Significant themes in this tale