The Pursuit of Love in The Miller’s Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

The Pursuit of Love in The Miller’s Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

Length: 670 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Miller’s Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a story about a carpenter and his wife, and the two clerks who are pursuing her love. The two clerks were infatuated with the carpenter’s wife, and they employed peculiar strategies in an attempt to capture her attention and ultimately her affection. The two clerks used plans that revolved around religious doctrines and axioms as a tactic of establishing their pursuit as credible. Their use of religion is the reason for the success or failure of all three male characters’ objectives.
Nicholas, the student boarder at the house of John, wants to sleep with Alison because he admires her beauty and elegance; and uses his knowledge of religion as his main tool in achieving his goal. Nicholas had come up with a plan. Nicholas told Alison to tell John that he was ill and lay in his room until the carpenter sent his slave to check on Nicholas’s health. The slave saw Nicholas’s eyes gaping upward as if possessed and called to the carpenter, who panicked and attributed Nicholas’ state to his profession in astrology. John thought Nicholas had seen the secrets of God and gone mad. John ordered his slave to wake Nicholas from his trance. Nicholas promised to tell John about what he had learned in heaven and John was shocked as Nicholas told him that next Monday, a flood similar to Noah’s flood would occur. Surreptitiously, Nicholas and Alison plan to desert their tubs when the carpenter falls asleep so that they can sleep together without the carpenter’s knowing. Nicholas uses the absurd story about the return of the flood as his main tool of removing the carpenter from the arrangement and having the opportunity to sleep with Alison. When John is sleeping in his tub, Alison and N...


... middle of paper ...


...imited knowledge of religion is what led him to accept Nicholas’s story and his subsequent humiliation in society.
Their use of religion is the reason for the success or failure of all three male characters’ objectives. The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories that were told during a pilgrimage to St. Thomas’s Tomb in Canterbury and a religious undertone was present throughout the stories. The life of people in late 1400s was heavily based around religion and religious institutions were in control of every aspect of life and people believed these institutions without any questions. This is similar to John’s thinking and naïve belief in Nicholas’s story. The religious institutions are not as powerful today as they were in the Middle Ages. Today, stories of the Great Flood would be struck down quickly due to the advances in science, technology, and education.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Miller 's Tale Of Tales, By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- Obtaining love “The world the Miller describes… is rife with drinking, adultery, sex, and violence” (The Miller’s Prologue). In Geoffrey Chaucer’s collection of tales, The Canterbury Tales, more specifically, The Miller’s Tale, his life is influenced within the tale whether it be his philosophies he has acquired through his experiences or specific events in his life that has incorporated into his writing. Throughout his tale, the story tells of a lover’s quarrel between John, the old carpenter who is married to Alisoun, Nicholas, the young clerk who is in love with Alisoun, Absolon, the parish clerk who is infatuated with Alisoun, and Alisoun, the beautiful young women who is having an affai...   [tags: Marriage, Love, Arranged marriage]

Better Essays
1260 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Sexual and Bodily Subjects in The Miller's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer

- "The Miller's Tale," a short story by Geoffrey Chaucer, deals frankly with sexual and bodily subjects. Chaucer is never obscene, he allows the reader to use his imagination to determine what some of the events actually mean. The tale is a "fabliau," which is a short story in verse that deals satiracally and humorously about sexual or monetary deception. When Chaucer describes the characters, he creates a unique theme for each person that helps the reader determine their role in the story. For example, he describes Alisoun as being a young, playful, and attractive girl that enjoys showing off what she has....   [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales]

Better Essays
581 words (1.7 pages)

The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- Geoffrey Chaucer is, to this day, one of the most famous Middle-English writers. His view of corrupt societies and how things "may not always be as they seem" was incredibly accurate and has even carried over its accuracy into the modern era. His writings are highly controversial and bring out the faults in the most conservative aspects of society—especially when it comes to sexism and the church. In The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, he speaks about 31 people going on a pilgrimage. The entire selection is heavily weighted and based on one key thing, which is how it is structured....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]

Better Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Summary and Analysis of The Miller's Tale Essay

- Summary and Analysis of The Miller's Tale When the Knight had finished, everybody decided that he had told a noble story. The drunken Miller claims that he has a tale as noble as the one the Knight had told. The host tried to quiet the Miller, but he demanded to speak. He claims that he will tell the tale of a carpenter and his wife. His tale will be one of infidelity. The narrator attempts to apologize for the tale that will follow, admitting that the Miller is not well-bred and will therefore tell a bawdy tale....   [tags: Canterbury Tales The Miller's Tale Essays]

Better Essays
1357 words (3.9 pages)

The Tales Of The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay examples

- The stories on The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer often undermine societal hierarchies at the time. The tales Chaucer tells highlight aspects of authority that would otherwise never be questioned. In “The Miller’s Tale”, the notion of a clear useful economic hierarchy is challenged. Chaucer critiques chivalry in “The Knight’s Tale,” testing the value of the authority it provides. In “The Friar’s Tale”, Chaucer questions the benevolence of the church and its position hierarchy. By giving archetypal characters the freedom to act in opposition to their hierarchical roles, Chaucer calls the nature of authority into question....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]

Better Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Geoffrey Chaucer 's ' The Canterbury Tales '

- One recurring theme in Geoffrey Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales, is payback. Many of the tales are fabliaux, so they consist of naughty characters and oodles of payback. The characters each possess multiple characteristics, including caritas and cupiditas. Because of these traits, the characters in Chaucer’s tales are often prone to partake in immoral or moral activities. The activities result in payback dished out and received. The payback can come in many forms, including vengeful, violent, childish, karmic, or sexual....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]

Better Essays
1258 words (3.6 pages)

The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer Essay

- Geoffrey Chaucer is most infamous for his controversial poems known as, The Canterbury Tales, which were presumably written in the last 14 years of his life. Chaucer lived in around 1343 and later died in 1400 leaving a legacy that will forever be continued. He was the son of a wine merchant, and came across paths with many people that heavily influenced his writing. Chaucer’s first poem he composed of was, “The Book of the Duchess,” an elegy to the Duchess of Lancaster. “Chaucer spoke and wrote the English of the South East Midland region, the language of Gower and Wycliffe, the spoken language of London, and the branch of Middle English from which our own English most directly descends.” (...   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, The Reeve's Tale]

Better Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

The Miller's Prologue and Tale Essay examples

- The Miller's Prologue and Tale is a humorous story about a love triangle of three men and one woman. The tale has many intriguing parts but the most important theme is that of loyalty. In the beginning of the tale, the carpenter, John, talks about his wife, how she is so much younger then him and how he is a very jealous man: "This carpenter hadde wedded a newe a wif / Which that he loved more than his lif. / Of eighteteen yeer she was of age; / Jalous he was wilde and yong, and he was old / And deemed himself been lik a cokewold" (113)....   [tags: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer]

Free Essays
802 words (2.3 pages)

Miller's Tale Essay

- Do you believe that Chaucer thinks courtly love provides a useful set of rules and behaviors to guide man and women in their relationship. By analyzing two of the major characters, Nicholas and Absalon, and their relative success in relationships, explain what you believe Chaucer is telling us about courtly love though this tale. The Miller's tale story is about two characters that were pursuing the attention and affection of the beautiful Alison who was married to John the carpenter. These characters were Nicholas and Absalon....   [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer]

Better Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

The Miller's Tale: Differentiation of Sex Essay

- The Miller's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer is a mirror of medieval society particularly in the way it depicts the relationships between men and women as well as giving a realistic portrait of working class people during the middle ages. Alison, the main character illustrates how a woman was able to use her sex through her actions of deceit to many characters. Popular belief holds that courtly love was prevalent during the medieval period; however The Miller's Tale provides a more realistic look into sexual relationships through its use of infidelity and sexual humor....   [tags: World Literature]

Better Essays
1055 words (3 pages)