Burnell the Ass

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The hero of the Speculum Stultorum by Wireker. Burnell, who represents the monk who is dissatisfied with his lot, is an ass who wants a longer tail. He goes to Salerno and Paris to study, and finally loses his tail altogether. In the course of his travels he hears the tale that Chaucer alludes to in ‘The Nun's Priest's Tale’ (see Canterbury Tales, 20).

Subjects: Literature.

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