Civil Humans v. Animals

This extremely graphic and brutal representation of the Jews, reminds me of the presentation of the Jew in the previous text we read, The Prioress’ Tale. In these stories the Jews commit brutal acts of violence and are both times punished for their actions. In this particular text, the suffering of the Jew is graphically described in a way that makes them seem fiendish, reflecting the violent acts they commit. The poem justifies the stereotype of the Jew during this time as violent and destructive. On the other hand we see glimpses of human qualities here and there in the Jews but each time we are reminded of their inhumanity. By offering this teetering between human-animal representations the author offers a civil balance that forces the reader to consider the human qualities of them. At the same time the prologue plays a huge role throughout the poem as it sets the readers attitude towards the Jew as negative. With this attitude the reader side with the Christians who are also fallen as they go against the Christian doctrine to justify a wrong. It is interesting to see this dual view of both groups, highlighting their imperfection while pushing limits of their savagery, Christian and Jew.

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