Prologue[ edit ] The general prologue to The Canterbury Tales describes the MillerRobin, as a stout and evil churl fond of wrestling.
But the Miller, who is very drunk, announces that he will tell a story about a carpenter.
The Reeve, Oswald, objects because he was once a carpenter. Chaucer then warns the reader that this tale might be a bit vulgar, but he must tell all the stories because a prize is at stake. Thus, the Miller begins his tale. John, an old and very jealous carpenter who is married to an year-old girl named Alison, rents a room to a young astrology student named Nicholas, who can supposedly forecast the likelihood of rain showers or drought.
Nicholas soon falls in love with Alison and one day grasps her around the groins and cries, "Love me all-at-once or I shall die. Alison also has another admirer — Absalon, an effeminate incense swinger at the church.
Very dainty and fastidious, Absalon is, in fact, so fastidious that he cannot tolerate people who expel gas in public. Although Absalon demonstrates his feelings for Alison by serenading her outside her bedroom window, she finds him a nuisance and is interested only in Nicholas, who conceives an elaborate plan to get John out of the house for the night.
Nicholas convinces John that the town is soon to be visited with a flood like the one that visited Noah in the Bible and that, to survive, he must build and fasten three boat-like tubs to the rafters and store within them provisions. John follows Nicholas' instructions, and the evening before the predicted flood, all three — John the carpenter; Alison, John's wife, and Nicholas, Alison's paramour — climb into the boats.
When the carpenter sleeps, Alison and Nicholas quickly descend to Alison's bed where they spend the night making love. Later that night, Absalon, discovering the Miller's absence, goes to Alison's window.
The Canterbury Tales is the last of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, and he only finished 24 of an initially planned tales. The Canterbury Tales study guide contains a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The Canterbury Tales (Middle English: Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17, lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between and In , Chaucer became Controller of Customs and Justice of Peace and, in , Clerk of the King's work. . THE CANTERBURY TALES. And other Poems. of. GEOFFREY CHAUCER. Edited for Popular Perusal. by. D. Laing Purves. CONTENTS. PREFACE. LIFE OF CHAUCER. THE CANTERBURY TALES. The General Prologue. The Knight's Tale. The Miller's tale. The Reeve's Tale. The Cook's Tale. The Man of Law's Tale. The Wife of Bath's Tale .
Denied access to her room, he begs for one kiss. Afraid that the bothersome clerk will arouse the neighbors, Alison agrees to kiss him, but instead of her mouth, she extends her rear out the window.
The fastidious Absalon "kissed her naked arse, most savorously. Cured of his love sickness, Absalon borrows a red-hot poker from the blacksmith, returns to Alison's window, and tells her he has a golden ring for her: Absalon recovers quickly and thrusts the red-hot poker up the middle of Nicholas' arse.
Nicholas shouts, "Water, help, Water, Water," startling John from his sleep. Thinking that the flood is coming, John cuts the rope that holds his boat suspended and crashes to the floor. The neighbors, hearing all the ruckus, rush in and, when they hear of John's preparations for a flood, laugh at his lunacy.
Analysis This tale is the funniest Chaucer ever wrote and has been popular with readers of humorous literature throughout the ages. Chaucer used no known source for The Miller's Tale, but in general outline, it is one of the most common earthy folk tales, or fabliaux. The story of the rich old man married to a voluptuous young girl has been and still is the source of much of the bawdy humor throughout Western literature.
In Chaucer's treatment, the story is elevated to great literary heights through Chaucer's masterful use of comic incongruity and characterization, and by the incredible neatness of the tale's construction.
The tale abounds in incongruity. Some passages require a full knowledge of the medieval ages along with the traditions of that age: The incongruity lies in the contrast between Nicholas' actions, which are direct, bold, and vulgar, and the words he speaks, which are those of a refined courtly lover who is nobly pining away for a lady far beyond his station an incongruity that does not come through in a modern English transliteration.
A more obvious example of incongruity is the scene between Absalon and Alison at her window. Absalon, the incense thrower, is accustomed to smells that are sweet, exotic, and sensuous. He is effeminate, delicate, fastidious, and yet he is subjected to the ultimate humiliation when Alison presents her "arse" to be kissed and Absalon does so.
As for characterization, the presentation of Alison is filled with details that identify her as some innocent and joyful natural creature — the weasel's suppleness, the softness of a wether's wool a wether is an older lambthe singing of a swallow on a barn, and so on.
The same joyful nature underlies her response to Absalon's horror after her trick: The neatness of the tale goes far beyond the comic inevitability of its plot.
In the medieval view, Noah's flood came about because men had become carnal; they fell into promiscuity and perversion. The same sins bring on the comic catastrophe in The Miller's Tale.The Canterbury Tales is the last of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, and he only finished 24 of an initially planned tales.
The Canterbury Tales study guide contains a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
The Reeve, himself a carpenter, angrily protests, but the Miller says that the Reeve should not take the tale so personally––unless, of course, the Reeve has reason to do so. Indeed, says the Miller, he himself has a wife, but he doesn’t ask her too many questions. The Canterbury Tales is the last of Geoffrey Chaucer's works, and he only finished 24 of an initially planned tales.
The Canterbury Tales study guide contains a biography of Geoffrey Chaucer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. While the Knight’s Tale is set among ancient mythological characters who take their interactions with the gods and goddesses seriously, the Miller’s Tale parodies Biblical stories—in this case, the tale of the Flood.
The Knight - The first pilgrim Chaucer describes in the General Prologue, and the teller of the first caninariojana.com Knight represents the ideal of a medieval Christian man-at-arms.
He has participated in no less than fifteen of the great crusades of his era. The Knight's Tale and The Miller's Tale involve a three-way love triangle.
In both tales, two men are seeking the love (or possession) of the same woman. In both tales, two men are seeking the love (or possession) of the same woman.