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George Saintsbury has rightly pointed out that “we perceive in the Canterbury Tales the completion of his command of verse” (George, 129). All the characters in the poem are individuals, reflecting the men and manners of the people of Chaucer’s time. His realistic vision embraces all, rich and poor, bringing out their inmost qualities through careful external descriptions. In this paper I have done an analysis of the “Miller’s Tale”, examining all the characters in it in order to see Chaucer’s attitude to love and sex.
Miller is a down-to-earth man. When the Knight completed his story the Monk wanted to tell his story. But the Miller would not allow him. The host at the inn had doubts about Miller’s skill in narrating a story, and it was also not proper to give Miller the next chance after a Knight who holds respectable place in his society had just finished his noble story. The Miller was badly drunk too. He insisted that he must tell his story. I think here Chaucer cleverly manipulates the plot to escape from the moral responsibility of inserting a bawdy story immediately after narrating one which deals with courtly love. Chaucer is, however, praised for his realistic approach to literature. He believes that all should be given equal place in life and the success of the story lies in variety and contrast, be it moral and immoral. The best narrative devices are, he knows, humor and contrast. Hence, the Miller gets his chance immediately after the Knight. Chaucer is also able to use Miller to challenge the conventions deciding values in life or literature. Therefore, the study of Chaucer’s approach to love and lust reflected through the Miller’s story becomes significant.
Though the Miller’s tale looks like a parody to the story narrated by the Knight, it deals with the serious subjects like marriage, love, and sexual relationships. I think Chaucer likes Alison
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“The Miller'S Tale From Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1560866-the-millers-tale-from-canterbury-tales-by-geoffrey-chaucer.
The wise saying goes that the poet can penetrate that area where the rays of the sun cannot reach. He exhibits his intimacy with Nature while describing its beauty and benevolence and Nevill Coghill, the translator, describes it thus: “When in April the sweet showers fall, And pierce the drought of March to the root and all, The veins are bathed in liquor of such power, As brings about the engendering of the flower, When also Zephyrus with his sweet breath, Exhales an air in every grove and heath.”(2003, p.3) Chaucer provides the rare insights about the life in the 14th century.
Love was not a consideration. Young girls went from being under the control of their father or a male guardian, to being under the control of a husband. In the Canterbury Tales, the travelers related tales to entertain each other at the end of the day. Wine, ale and weariness may have led them to reveal more than they intended.
The ploughman, Chaucer tells us “loved God” more than anything else, and like a true Christian, love d his neighbor more than himself (Chaucer 535-8). Chaucer focuses on the fact that the ploughman is a hard worker, would “thresh and dig,” a “true worker” who would work even without pay when need be (537, 531).
Generation after generation women are still treated the same. Whether they are just educated and capable as men, they are still considered 2nd best. No. Women can do the things men can do. It is up to the society to accept their capabilities and not suppress their talents and intelligence.
Many of the tales are poetic, but some are written as prose (Gould and Ball 3). Through these tales, Chaucer asserts that he is a master of several literary genres practiced in the Middle Ages, particularly romance (the Knight), farce (the Miller), and fable (the Nun’s Priest) (Gould and Ball 3).
Sonnets are little songs with a hidden message while Chaucer’s tales are like short stories each containing a moral lesson for the reader. Each tale has a different idea of love while Shakespeare’s sonnets are divided into three categories that differentiate three contexts of love.
The Wife of Bath’s Tale has an unexpected ending because Chaucer himself was accused of rape. Chaucer is among the founding figures in the history of literature (“Geoffrey Chaucer”). In the legal record of 1380, Cecelia Chaumpaigne consents releasing Geoffrey Chaucer from the legal actions related to de raptu meo (Beidler).
Significantly, one identifies four major themes in the overall structure of the work which are manifest in the various tales. Therefore, the themes of chivalry, flattery, greed, and selfishness are more generally seen in the overall structure of the work and these themes are present in individual tales as well as in the Prologue.
The gathering entails various groups of people who aim to receive blessings from an English martyr. Events take a turn in the story as the crowd walks to the pilgrimage. A host engages the people in tale narration with an intention to
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