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The Miller's Tale
Transcript of The Miller's Tale
Zack Balaguer Works Cited The Canterbury Tales -
The Miller's Tale Character Literary Devices The miller “Robyn”
Character description Context
Tale in History Chaucer's
Opinion Literary Genre Why the Character Told This Tale The Miller is described as a short and sturdy man who possesses uncanny strength. He is the undisputed champion of wrestling. Although he first comes off as noble and heroic, the reader is quick to realize that the Miller is more of a “fight initiator” then a heroic warrior. Chaucer describes the Miller in a derogatory manner. If we look beyond our first impression of the Miller, we can find some sense of respect for him. Chaucer informs us that the Miller possesses a humorous and a poetic soul for he is "a janglere (chatterer) and a goliardais (teller of obscene stories)" (Norton, 562). The Miller told this gruesome tale in an attempt to get out of his low social class. Being a belligerently drunk fool, the Miller interrupts the Knight’s tale and demands that his tale be told or else he is leaving. The others back down and allow him to do so. He then tells the most flawless story in literature, challenging the conventions of rhetoric, subject and values, which he first carefully exhibited in The Knight's Tale. The literary genre of the Miller’s Tale is what is known as a fabliau. Fabliau originated in southern France and it includes medieval literature written by court poet-musicians (minstrels). It was based on clergy-members, clerks, peasants, and sex and usually involved adulterous acts like the love triangle. The “love” triangle turns out to be just a lust triangle which won’t ever be solved because the woman the men are lusting after is married. Absolon speaks very eloquently and courtly but it is all just to show to get women. This story is a parody for fabliau and actual romance to show that the only thing the characters in either genre really care about is sex. The Miller’s Tale is significant because it the beginning of Chaucer attempting to overthrow the class system that existed in this time in history. Initially, the tales are to be told in order of social class rank; however, the Miller demands that he tell his tale after the Knight. The Miller, a low class person that is stereotyped as being stupid, then goes onto to tell a perfect story, and arguably the most beautiful of all of the tales. Chaucer uses symbols to represent abstract ideas or concepts in this story. An example of symbolism used is the kind of clothing that everyone is described as wearing. The clothing the characters wear matches their personality like how the physician wears silk clothing to show his love for wealth. He also used humor in the story when the Miller is drunk to amuse the reader. We see this when the Miller is described in depth of being drunk and when he apologizes to people before even speaking to them that he will probably mispronounce some things because his drunkenness. We also see humor when Absolon goes in for a kiss but is met with a bare butt. Imagery is the Miller’s most effective literary device, as he uses it throughout his tale. He describes Alisoun’s body as being delicate and slender like a weasel, her apron is as white as morning milk, and her features are compared to plums and pear trees. Appearance -he doesn’t have good character, he isn’t trust worthy. He steals corn from his customers, and/or charges them three time the proper fee for it
-his red hair is a sign of lustfulness. It was medieval symbolism that showed that red hair was a sign of lustful nature.
-Even the tale he tells shows this, because the tale consists of adultery and lust, which shows us even more so his internal lustful proclivities. Abrams, M. H. and Greenblatt, Stephen. eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
W.W. Norton & Company: New York, 2000.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Genre" Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.
" Geoffrey Chaucer." 2012. Biography.com 28 Oct 2012, 11:50 http://www.biography.com/people/geoffrey-chaucer-9245691
"Miller." Nehsmediacenter - Miller. Https://nehsmediacenterenglish.wikispaces.com/, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2012. <https://nehsmediacenterenglish.wikispaces.com/Miller>.
Source: "Miller's Tale." Miller's Tale. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. <http://www.universalteacher.org.uk/poetry/millerstale.htm>.
The Miller interrupts the Knight’s tale and demands that his be told. He then goes on and mocks the Knight’s tale. The Knight is an advocate of courtly love: he is manly and courageous, and confident in his social status. However, Absolon is ridiculous to the Miller's audience that the various representations of him in the appearance of love. Also, the downfall of the conquering hero in his moment of triumph (a fatal downfall presented as tragedy for Arcite) is comically repeated in Nicholas's branding with the coulter. Finally, the Knight's tendency to move from narration into moralizing and comment is copied by the Miller. Tale in comparison
other tales -Huge
-wide black nostrils
-wart on his nose with red hair coming
out of it “as red as the bristles in a sows ear
-Activities are very physical, breaking doors
open with his head, and always wins the ram
or top prize at wrestling matches