Humor in Chaucer's The Miller's Tale

645 Words3 Pages
Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" should be tragic, because a lot of horrible things happen to the characters. The carpenter's wife is disloyal to him, sleeping with others and making fun of him with Nicholas. Also, he is depicted as a fool. However, readers get a humorous feeling from the story, rather than feeling sorry for the carpenter's unfair life. Chaucer makes the whole story come across as comic rather than tragic. This humor is created by the Miller's narration, the use of irony, the cartoon-like characters, and the twists of plot. These elements combine to produce an emotional distance which enhances the comic effect. The narrator is the first element of humor Chaucer uses in his story. The Miller is rude and drunk but generally a jolly fellow. This sets the tone of story as being fun and even a bit coarse, just like the Miller himself. He tells a few jokes before he tells his story: "One shouldn't be two inquisitive in life? / Either about God's secrets or one's wife. / You'll find God's plenty all you could desire"(53). As well, the Miller wants to punish the Reeve, a ...

More about Humor in Chaucer's The Miller's Tale

Open Document