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From A Close Examination Of The Introductory Portraits Of The Knight and The Miller In The General Prologue to the 'Canterbury Tales,' Show How Chaucer Presents These Two Figures

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Lucy Deeley From A Close Examination Of The Introductory Portraits Of The Knight and The Miller In The General Prologue to the 'Canterbury Tales,' Show How Chaucer Presents These Two Figures The Knight and the Miller both have completely different roles and status in medieval society. The Knight would be an educated member of society, whereas the Miller would be nearer the bottom of the social spectrum. The type of education each would have had is reflected in the language Chaucer uses in each portrait. In the Knights prologue Chaucer uses longer words and longer sentences. Chaucer lists all the battles the Knights has been in, and the long sentences used help to show the reader that the Knight is educated. In the Millers prologue shorter sentences and shorter words are used which infers that the Miller is uneducated. ...read more.


Everything about him is big, both physically 'Ful big he was of brawn, and eek of bones.' and personality-wise. The words Chaucer uses to describe each character are very different. The Knights portrait includes words such as 'worthynes', 'trouthe' and 'honour.' These words show admiration for the Knight. The words used to describe the Miller on the other hand are very simple words. Chaucer compares him to a sow, and describes his mouth the be 'as greet was as a forneys.' This shows the Miller as a simple character. The Knight is idealised by Chaucer in the same way as Knights are portrayed in fairytales. Chaucer uses hyperbole as a technique to infer to the reader that the Knight is idealised. The deeds that the Knight has achieved are fighting for his country and for his faith and he is respected and looked up to by other members of society. ...read more.


In those days the devil was often pictured playing the bagpipes, which suggests that, the Miller is not very religious and even demonic. This could also infer to the reader that maybe the Miller is not on a pilgrimage to pay homage to God but to try to make himself look good. Later on, in the Millers Prologue, the Miller is blasphemous which could also support the idea that the Miller is not going on the pilgrimage for spiritual reasons but for want to be respected. Both of the pilgrims have weapons but each for different reasons. The Knight has come from a battle and has used his weapon for fighting in the Crusades and for his faith, 'For he was late y-come from his voyage, and wente for to do his pilgrimage.' The Miller has his sword for show and bravado and it seems he only uses it for mindless violence. ...read more.

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