‘The Canterbury Tales’ is a selection of stories written in Middle
English. On a spring day in April sometime in the 14th century 29
pilgrims (including Chaucer as a character 30) set out for Canterbury
on a pilgrimage.
Among them is a knight, a monk, a prioress, two nun’s, the friar, the
squire, the yeoman, the merchant, a clerk, a sergeant of the law, a
wealthy landowner, a doctor, the wife of Bath, a supplier, the reeve,
a somonour, a pardoner, Harry Bailey (the host), Chaucer himself, a
haberdasher, a carpenter, a weaver, a tapestry maker, a dyere, a cook,
a shipman, a poor parson, a plowman, and a miller. To entertain
themselves they decide to tell a tale each on the way and another on
the way back. They all start there journey at ‘The Tabard’ an inn or
The miller is categorised as lower class and his character when
telling this story is exceedingly drunk.
The miller’s tale is about an Oxford student called Nicholas who lives
with an old wealthy carpenter and his young attractive wife called
Alisoun. The carpenter keeps a close eye on her.
One day Nicholas decides to ‘try it on’ with Alisoun without much
resistance on the agreement of secrecy Alisoun agrees.
In the church a parish clerk called Absolon falls in love with
Alisoun. He tries to woo her over by giving her presents and money. As
Nicholas lives in the same house as Alisoun she isn’t interested in
Nicholas hatches a plan to get rid of the carpenter; therefore he can
spend the night with Alisoun without disturbances. Nicholas pretends
to be ill and stays in his room for two days. The servant reports to
the carpenter that Nicholas i...
... middle of paper ...
...uch as the knight would have had a much higher standard of
spoken speech, which is another contrast between the knight and
miller’s tale. It is also written as a poem in rhyming couplets, which
I believe keeps the story lively with continuity.
In conclusion, Chaucer presents the miller to be a vivid and vibrant
character by mainly imagery and colours. Chaucer is clear on his
descriptions and gives incredible detail on his character. Chaucer
hopes that the physical appearance of the miller will reflect the
miller as a person as well. Chaucer relies on symbolism and similes to
reveal the miller’s character to us; therefore Chaucer does not have
to make a direct opinion of him. This keeps him as a neutral story
teller, but another benefit of this is that the audience cannot hold
Chaucer responsible for the miller’s tale as he is merely a neutral
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