• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The presence of pairs or of doubles and doubling often appears in works of art. How and for what purpose has Chaucer made effective use of such patterns?

Extracts from this document...


English Commentary: "The presence of pairs or of doubles and doubling often appears in works of art. How and for what purpose has Chaucer made effective use of such patterns?" The Miller's Tale is taken from the fabliau genre while The Knight's Tale is set in the romance tradition of courtly love. Fabliau is generally a fairly bawdy tale which includes elements such as trickery, scatological humour, practical jokes, etc. Courtly love is the typical "man worships woman" type of love that is seen in plays such as Romeo and Juliet. By juxtaposing the tales with such contrasting styles, Chaucer heightens the humour in The Miller's Tale. Chaucer's satirical portraits of the characters in The Miller's Tale are parodies of the characters presented in The Knight's Tale. Both of the plays have the theme of two men that both want a beautiful woman. The pairing of Alison and Emily and Absalon and Nicholas and Arcite and Palamon serves to heighten the humour in The Miller's Tale. ...read more.


In his long description of Absalon in The Miller's Tale, Chaucer comically subverts the romance convention of describing the lady in great detail. The way Absalon is described doesn't make him appear very masculine. "Curly was his hair, and as the gold it shone, And stretched out like a fan large and broad; Very straight and even lay his elegant parted hair" "Very fair and thick are the laces set. And over that he had a gay surplice As white as in the blossom upon the branch." "And plays songs on a small fiddle, To which he sometimes sang a loud high." The fact that Absalon is described using words such as, "elegant", "blossom", "loud high", make him seem quite girly in comparison to the description of one of the knights who fought for Palamon in the final battle for Emily. "Black was his beard and manly was his face." "With shaggy hairs on his stout brows; His limbs large, his muscles hard and strong, His shoulders broad, his arms round and long; And as was the fashion in his country, He stood full high upon a chariot of gold." ...read more.


"And intimately he caught her by the crotch, And said, 'Indeed, unless I have my will, For secret love of thee, sweetheart, I die.'" "And said, 'sweetheart, love me immediately Or I will die, so save me god.'" These descriptions of Nicholas' pain seem over exaggerated. This contrasts with the lengthy description of Arcite's suffering. This adds another comic element to the tale as it seems that Nicholas doesn't really love Alison like how Arcite loves Emily. It juxtaposes a serious and a miserable tone to a "love me or I'll die" overstatement used by Nicholas in his rapid seduction of Alison. In conclusion, the presence of pairs and doubles is very effective. Chaucer has made a successful use of them to help emphasise the humour in The Miller's Tale use of the juxtaposition and the contrasting between pairs from both The Miller's Tale and The Knight's Tale. By parodying The Knight's Tale with a more exaggerated and humorous play; it makes The Miller's Tale more funny to the reader because there is something to compare it to. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    two worlds, walking a fine line between adopting Western customs and losing his national identity. Yet as a character in himself, Kip is complex and elusive. He reacts with warmth to the welcoming embrace of his mentor, Lord Suffolk, but shrugs off Caravaggio's hug as he rides away on his motorcycle at the end of the novel.

  2. The Use of The Four Elements in The Wars

    This welcomes them into the religion and cleanses them of their sin. "In Christianity, baptism is the sacramental act of cleansing in water that admits one as a full member of the Church."("Baptism") After Robert is in a skirmish with the soldier who had come to kill Rowena's rabits, he finds himself in a bathtub nursing his wounds.

  1. A Comparison of the imagery and symbolism in Birdsong and Fair Stood the Wind ...

    part of the little people possessing an immeasurable power that could not be broken...He knew it clearly now as a more wonderful thing, more enduring, and more inspiring power than he had ever believed possible: the power of their own hearts."


    of motherhood onto the male; Atwood suggests this by her epigraph - "give me children, or else I die" - a quotation from Genesis. Atwood is implying that to say we have moved away from these views of women is merely an illusion - we still hold them, just on smaller scales.

  1. Everyday Use: Defining African-American Heritage

    Mama's daughter Dee (Wangero) has a much more superficial idea of heritage. She is portrayed as bright, beautiful, and self-centered. Walker uses Dee to symbolize the Black Power movement, which was characterized by bright and beautiful blacks who were vocal and aggressive in their demands.

  2. To what extent do the works of Shelley, Carter and Coleridge reinforce traditional masculine ...

    The heroine states that the choker "clasped" around her throat. This personification of an inanimate object implies that it is in fact the marquis hands that hold her around her neck, constraining and inhibiting her. The marquis in Bloody Chamber can be likened to the character Geraldine in 'Christabel'.

  1. How is forbidden love conveyed in both Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet and Malorie Blackmans ...

    that she is the stronger one out of the two of them. It shows that, despite what has happened, she will continue to stand for what she believes in and not be put down by the beliefs of those surrounding her.

  2. How are dystopias portrayed in The Handmaids Tale and 1984?

    In ignoring each person, the state is not providing adequate solutions and the constant change in the way numbers add denotes attempts at bettering society. Of course, not only do the above examples comment on Eastern Europe?s Communist takeover and women?s rights respectively, but the quote ?2+2=5? is critique of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work