Show Summary Details

Quick Reference


A short tale used as an example to illustrate a moral point, usually in a sermon or other didactic work. The form was cultivated in the late Middle Ages, for instance in Robert Mannyng of Brunne's Handlyng Synne (early 14th century) and in Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale and Nun's Priest's Tale, as well as in many prose collections for the use of preachers. See also allegory, fable, parable.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Literature.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.