What is fable? Is Nun’s Priest’s Tales a Fable?
Definition of Fable: Usually a fable is a short and simple story which is designed to teach a moral lesson. Most of the characters of the fable are often animals and they play an important role like the human beings.
According to the definition of Dictionary, A Fable is a short moral story, especially one with animals as characters; a false, fictitious or improbable account; fiction or lie; a story or legend about supernatural or mythical characters or events; legends or myths collectively related adjective fabulous and the pilot of a play or of an epic or dramatic poem.
The characteristics of a fable:
a. Short story: Generally a fable is written in shortly and all the characters also show shortly. The characters may be few.
b. Animal Characters: The characters of a fable are always animals and within these characters we are shown the different situation of our society in different way. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tales, we have observed that all the characters are animals. Similarly, in George Orwell’s Animal, all the characters are animals and the animal characters indicate some human beings in different way.
c. Absence of the human characters: A fable does not take any human characters but in animal characters they indicate the human being to warn them.
d. Morality: All the fables bear several morality and the purpose of the fables is teaching human being many things especially morality.
e. Lines of the story will not be like the poem: All the lines of a fable are different from the lines of a poem.
Structure: A fable has a basic three-part story structure: a beginning, middle and end. The opening introduces the characters in their natural setting, and then a major event leads to the conflict the main character must overcome. In the middle part, the main character struggles, often to the delight of his opponent. When the main character finally prevails over the conflict, the fable ends with a moral lesson.
Language: Fables use simple, short sentences that are easy to read and understand, especially for children. A fable may use prose or a rhyming verse style to add to its readability and enjoyment. The main function of the dialogue, which often uses questions, is to advance the story to its moral conclusion.
Setting: The setting for a fable gives a particular location that is important to the characters’ actions. Common nature settings include a forest, mountains or a fantasy environment, such as a castle. While the setting is usually simple in description, it is an effective way to introduce different cultures and customs.
According to the definition and the characteristics of a fable Geoffrey Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tales is a Fable because all the elements of a fable are available in this poem.