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

Although the Millers Tale was written over 600 years ago, we still find it funny, why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Millers Tale Essay Question - Although the Millers Tale was written over 600 years ago, we still find it funny, why? The Miller's Tale is arguably Chaucer's best work of humour and it strikes the right balance between bawdiness and vulgarity. The setting of the Miller's Tale is very ordinary and therefore we relate to it and is not humorous. The details give verisimilitude to the tale. But the main aspects of humour in The Miller's Tale are the four characters and how they react with each other. First John, the carpenter. He is a very stereotypical carpenter in those times who marries a young woman for her beauty so she can share his riches. He is rich but stupid and his stupidity and gullibility provides the chance for the main practical joke of the tale to take place. John can be compared with the Miller an example of John's stupidity which makes the tale funny is on line 119 'He knew nat Catoun, for his wit was rude' this tells us directly that he was rude. He is also very gullible which also brings humour to the story. We can see this in the way that he believes Nicholas about the flood and builds the boat in the roof (another stupid thing to do because the roof is a stupid place to build a boat!) ...read more.

Middle

Absolon is the one suitor that tries to woo Alison that has a traditional romantic attitude to courting. He is the victim of Alison's scorn (on line 600 'Go fro the wyndow, Jakke fool') and receives only one 'kiss' which he realises is not what it appears (on line 626 'But with his mouth he kiste hir naked ers'). Absolon's romantic affectations make him appear foolish. The Miller sarcastically notes on how Absolon combed his curly blond hair to prepare himself for Alison, a parody of courtly love and romance and the miller and the carpenter have no use for it. We can also see humour in Absolon in the way that he dresses. From line 205 it describes him in almost as much detail as how Alison is described. He has 'wyndow corven on his shoos' (elegant patterned shoes), 'In hoses rede he wente fetisly' (red stockings), Ful faire and thikke been the poyntes set' (fancy tunic), 'In twenty manere koude he trippe and daunce' (he knew lots of dances), He was somdeel squaymous of fartyng and of speche daungerous' (He was squeamish of farting and of dirty jokes). From this description we can see that he is going to be a comical character and subjected to much ridicule throughout the tale. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example on line 168 when Nicholas, the scholar is trying to woo Alison, he 'caughte hire by the queynte' (grabbed her by the thighs) which we are unsure if Nicholas would do (but later, as Nicholas' crudeness is unfolded, he probably would) but are reminded that the Miller is the story teller so he is probably telling us what he would do. In conclusion, we still find the Miller's tale funny even though it was written over 600 years ago because the characters are so real that we can relate to them. People like The Miller, The Carpenter, Absolon, Nicholas and Alison are all around today and we can identify them in society. The basic love story is so realistic and true to life that we can't help but find it funny. It can be seen on so many different levels, a love story, a moral story, a farce, and mostly a funny story. Another reason why we still find The Miller's Tale funny today is that our sense of humour hasn't changed very much in the last 600 years. We still crave bawdiness and crudeness (basically typical British humour) and find it funny. So, The Miller's Tale can truly be said to still be humorous after 600 years. Rebecca Paine 11DR Chaucer's Millers Tale Essay 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer 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 GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. How does Chaucer's portrait of Alison add to the interest of the poem?

    Making himself seem the fool once again he thinks "he thought it was amiss, for well he wist a woman had no beerd." Absolon would have never dreamed something so awful could happen to him and is horrified, but Absolon being squeamish only adds to the humour.

  2. 'The Miller's Tale' - Geoffrey Chaucer - Character Analysis - Alison

    It is through these associations with animals that Chaucer hints at her animalistic instincts where she would want to mate with another young animal, namely Nicholas, rather than her elderly husband. Alison is conveyed as fresh and fragrant, associated with things of the country and her description builds up an impression of a rural rather than a courtly setting.

  1. 'The Miller's Tale' - Geoffrey Chaucer - Character Analysis - Nicholas

    It is his reputation from past astrological forecasting that aids his cuckolding of John and the prediction of the flood is so improbable that the carpenter does not consider the possibility that it is invention on Nicholas's part. However, in order for Nicholas's plan to succeed, he has to act convincingly.

  2. The Role of Women in the Miller's and Merchant's Tale.

    January assaulted her by the mere fact of marrying her. This is satire on the whole theme of courtly love. This feeling of revenge on her part is further demonstrated in the cuckold scene. * May deceives January quite wickedly in the garden.

  1. How Is The Character Of Nicholas Presented In 'The Miller's Tale'

    Nicholas is often accountable for the plain-speaking language that would have shocked Chaucer's audience, which the Miller has previously apologised for in the prologue. For example, Nicholas grabs 'hire (Alison) by the queynte'; this blunt anatomical term for the pudenda or genitls would have alarmed the audience in this context.

  2. The Merchant's Tale -summary

    If the reader trusts the tale, the fact that the Merchant hates women can be textually supported. Whether or not Januarie represents him can still be questioned. However, Chaucer creates an original artistic vehicle...to express the cynicism of the Merchant-narrator, whose consciousness of the difference between words and reality would

  1. What is the importance of lines 493-548 in the context of the whole of ...

    Chaucer's words are less crude than those of the Miller and rather than suggesting that they are in the wrong Chaucer uses a subtle and pleasant description. Although, empathy for John and for any human in love is clearly shown: 'Lo, which a greet thing is affeccioun!

  2. Remind yourself of the lines 199-243, in which the Miller introduces the character of ...

    This is further demonstrated when we are told that Absolon abuses what authority he has within the church. When we read that "to look on hire him thoughte a mirie lyf" it could be suggested that Absolon isn't prepared to go any further than simply gaze at her.

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