1. The relevance of dreams: the debate over Chantecleer’s dream is the main conflict between Pertelote and the rooster for the first half of the tale. Generally, dreams can be interpreted in a Freudian sense (reflective of fulfilling desires) or a psychic sense (indicative of future events). In the NPT, the psychic is more applicable considering Chanticleer provides speeches full of evidence on why dreams cannot be ignored and there ability to tell the future. However, Pertelote strongly opposes this assertion.
Is the fact that Chantecleer’s dream did indeed come true enough evidence to prove him right, or does it just show that the destiny of an individual is not within his/her own control. “O Destiny none of us can avoid”, alas that Chanticleer flew from those beams, alas his wife had no belief in dreams”. 2. Learning from past mistakes: both the fox and chanticleer gain wisdom from experience. After being snatched by the fox, Chantecleer learns not to be fooled by flattery: “You’ll not, with your soft soap and flatteries get me to sign again, and close my eyes!
The fox, after losing the cock by opening his mouth, learns: “bad luck to him who knows no better than to talk too much when he should hold his tongue”. For both animals, this realisation is a sort of anagnorisis where the recognize and reconcile their flaws. 3. Antipathy towards women: the narrator (the Nun’s priest) demonstrate antipathy towards women by blaming Pertelote for Chantecleer’s encounter with the fox: “[Chantecleer] took his wife’s advice to go into the yard the very day after he’d had the dream you heard me tell.
Women’s advice fatal as a rule: a women’s advice brought us first to woe, and out of Paradise Adam had to go”. In an allusion to the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the narrator links the advice of women (presumably Eve’s) to Adam’s removal from the Garden of Eden. Even Chantecleers lectures his wife on her ignorance of the importance in dreams. However, from a modern perspective Pertelote’s advice seems by far to be the most practical (considering the extent of Medieval knowledge).
Fables, being didactic and instructive also often have a religious purpose as well, with the NPT exhibiting the power of the will of God. In other words, our lives are dominated by a pre-determine fate or destiny, and human actions are ineffective in altering that pre-determined course. In the NPT, Chantecleer’s dream of meeting a dog-like beast in the yard represents his fate. He even uses biblical evidence to support the value of listening to dreams.
However, it is Pertelote the hen, who ensures that his fate does in fact occur. She convinces him not to take his dream seriously, which causes him to forget the omen in his dream when being cajoled by the fox. Therefore, in the end Chantecleer’s destiny and dream do come true. There is also much evidence to support alterative genres for the NPT. Like many of Chaucer’s tales, the NPT contains stylistic elements indicative of a parody. Mock-Heroic: imitates and ridicules chivalric literature and heroic characters.