Compare And Contrast The Miller's Tale And The Canterbury Tales

1393 Words6 Pages
Comparing modern individuals to the characters in novels written years ago, one notices that people never change. Humans from hundreds and even thousands of years ago conversed with one another, told jokes, made up stories, and expressed feelings in ways that are very similar, if not the same, to the behaviors of humans today. In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer provides the audience with an inside view of the different people they may have encountered on a pilgrimage within the years of 1066 A.D. to 1485 A.D. These years mark the expanse of the Medieval Period. As the audience gets to know the characters in the novel, they recognize characteristic traits they may see in their friends, family, peers, coworkers, and strangers. Among these…show more content…
In his tale, Nicholas, a clerk, and Alison, the carpenter’s wife, plot to trick the carpenter, John, and convince him that a great flood will soon occur. That night, when they are all in their tubs, which are hung from the rafters, Nicholas and Alison make their way down to John’s bedroom to quickly have sex. Meanwhile, Absalom, an admirer of Alison, comes to the bedroom window and tries to sweet talk Alison. When she tells him to go away, he asks for a kiss. At this point, the Miller decides to add an especially raunchy scene to his tale. He tells the other pilgrims that Alison sticks her butt out of the window and that Absalom mistakenly kisses it. Of course, the Miller incorporates more vulgar scenes as he continues with his tale. Disgusted, Absalom seeks revenge. He returns to the window with a hot iron, asking for a second kiss. This time, Nicholas puts his rear out the window and gets burnt with the end of the hot iron, but not before he farts in Absalom’s face. Absalom, being a man who is disgusted by farts, is furious. In pain, Nicholas immediately cries for water. The carpenter then frees his tub from the rafters and comes crashing down through the ceiling. Clearly, the Miller finds stories of infidelity amusing. Not only did the Miller allow the two to have sex in the bed of Alison’s own husband, but he also felt the need to add Absalom’s misfortune to the…show more content…
He is a disgusting character who highlights some of the poor qualities seen in people during the Medieval Period. While Chaucer’s novel is structured around a unique group of characters on a pilgrimage, all of which resemble different types of people, some stand out as very unfavorable individuals. The Miller is one of these people. Due to the nature of his tale and behavior on the pilgrimage, one can reasonably claim that he is the most revolting of all the characters. In general, the Miller embodies the negative stereotypes of the working class during the Medieval Period. The drunk, disrespectful Miller has a mind that is consumed by sexual desire, whether it is appropriate or not. He is a dishonest man who looks for ways to cheat others out of money and materials solely to benefit himself. After stealing corn from his customers, he charges them three times the price he truly deserves. Of all the tales in Chaucer’s novel, the Miller’s is unquestionably the most vile, due to the author’s focus on infidelity, tricks, and revenge. As he tells his story, the Miller is passive-aggressive and spiteful, specifically toward the Reeve, showing his disrespectful personality. These few character traits, of the many poor traits the Miller expresses, show the audience that he is the most disgusting and greedy character of them all. If he were to interact with modern individuals, no one would have any
Open Document