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The Knight and the Miller Portrayed by Chaucer Essay

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The Knight and the Miller Portrayed by Chaucer

society. The Knight would be an educated member of society, whereas
the Miller would be nearer the bottom of the social spectrum. The type
of education each would have had is reflected in the language Chaucer
uses in each portrait. In the Knights prologue Chaucer uses longer
words and longer sentences. Chaucer lists all the battles the Knights
has been in, and the long sentences used help to show the reader that
the Knight is educated. In the Millers prologue shorter sentences and
shorter words are used which infers that the Miller is uneducated. ‘A
swerd and bokeler bar he by his side’ The two characters are defined
by their role in society in the 14th century.

The Knight and the Miller are complete opposites, not only in social
status but also in terms of morals and values. The description of the
Knight focuses on his deeds rather than his personality or physical
appearance. This reflects the Knights character, that he is not
bothered by how he looks to go on the pilgrimage ‘All besmotered with
his habergeon, for he was late y-come from his voyage.’ This shows
that the Knight is modest and doesn’t mind how he looks when he’s on
the pilgrimage. The Miller on the other hand wears bold colours and
seems like he has dressed up for going on the pilgrimage. Everything
about him is big, both physically ‘Ful big he was of brawn, and eek of
bones.’ and personality-wise.

The words Chaucer uses to describe each character are very different.
The Knights portrait includes words such as ‘worthynes’, ‘trouthe’ and
‘honour.’ These words show admiration for the Knight. The words used
to describe the Miller on the other hand are very simple words.
Chaucer compares him ...


... middle of paper ...


...of the pilgrims have weapons but each for different reasons. The
Knight has come from a battle and has used his weapon for fighting in
the Crusades and for his faith, ‘For he was late y-come from his
voyage, and wente for to do his pilgrimage.’ The Miller has his sword
for show and bravado and it seems he only uses it for mindless
violence. The references to the Millers strength show his severe lack
of restraint, intelligence and social status.

Chaucer has presented the two portraits to introduce the two
characters before they tell their tales. They are each very different
both in social status and in personality, which is a reason why
Chaucer put the tales next to eachother in the ‘Canterbury Tales,’ as
it creates a contrast and variation in the story. The two portraits
lay the foundations for both the Miller and the Knight to tell the
tales they tell.


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