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How Does Chaucer Present The Miller To Become Such A Vivid And Vibrant Character

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Introduction

Charlotte Betting How Does Chaucer Present The Miller To Become Such A Vivid And Vibrant Character? 'The Canterbury Tales' is a selection of stories written in Middle English. On a spring day in April sometime in the 14th century 29 pilgrims (including Chaucer as a character 30) set out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage. Among them is a knight, a monk, a prioress, two nun's, the friar, the squire, the yeoman, the merchant, a clerk, a sergeant of the law, a wealthy landowner, a doctor, the wife of Bath, a supplier, the reeve, a somonour, a pardoner, Harry Bailey (the host), Chaucer himself, a haberdasher, a carpenter, a weaver, a tapestry maker, a dyere, a cook, a shipman, a poor parson, a plowman, and a miller. To entertain themselves they decide to tell a tale each on the way and another on the way back. They all start there journey at 'The Tabard' an inn or pub. The miller is categorised as lower class and his character when telling this story is exceedingly drunk. The miller's tale is about an Oxford student called Nicholas who lives with an old wealthy carpenter and his young attractive wife called Alisoun. The carpenter keeps a close eye on her. One day Nicholas decides to 'try it on' with Alisoun without much resistance on the agreement of secrecy Alisoun agrees. In the church a parish clerk called Absolon falls in love with Alisoun. ...read more.

Middle

Two animals are linked with these colours a fox and a sow. Black is also used suggesting he's devious and black usually symbolises all around badness implying that of him. Or it could mean crooked. Generally black is considered as a negative colour. Quote; 'His nosethirles blake were and wide'. (Translated as 'His nostrils were black and wide'.) Suggesting looking up at him would be like looking into black holes. The colours white and blue are used together. These are the colours nuns often wore together in particular Virgin Mary was notoriously stereotyped to be dressed like this. This could be ironic in the sense even though he is on a pilgrimage he doesn't necessarily take religion seriously and he's far from being a nun. These are also the colours for the Scottish flag and would have been in Chaucer's time as well relating back to the Scot stereotype. Quote; 'A whyt cote and a blew hood wered he'. (Translated as 'He wore a white coat and a blue hood'.) This shows the colour clothes he was wearing and his outward appearance symbolising his inner traits. The descriptions Chaucer uses are usually to accentuate his body. He is described as a large man overall. He is described as being exceedingly strong, broad, big, short-shouldered and a knotty fellow. He is a good wrestler and often wins. Quote; 'He was short-shouldered, brood, a thikke knarre'. (Translated as 'He was short-shouldered, broad, a knotty fellow'.) ...read more.

Conclusion

It's graphically expressive and it gives a very vivid image of the miller. Quote; 'Upon the cop right of his nose he hade A werte, and theron stood a tuft of herys, Reed as the bristles of a sowes erys'. (Translated as 'At the top right of his nose he had A wart and there stood a tuft of hairs, Red as the bristles of a sow's ears'.) Rather than just saying he had a wart on his nose, Chaucer goes into emphatic detail to describe it even going so far as to use a simile. The language Chaucer uses to create imagery breaks away from the world of courtly ideals. The miller has a basic and limited grasp of spoken language, whereas someone such as the knight would have had a much higher standard of spoken speech, which is another contrast between the knight and miller's tale. It is also written as a poem in rhyming couplets, which I believe keeps the story lively with continuity. In conclusion, Chaucer presents the miller to be a vivid and vibrant character by mainly imagery and colours. Chaucer is clear on his descriptions and gives incredible detail on his character. Chaucer hopes that the physical appearance of the miller will reflect the miller as a person as well. Chaucer relies on symbolism and similes to reveal the miller's character to us; therefore Chaucer does not have to make a direct opinion of him. This keeps him as a neutral story teller, but another benefit of this is that the audience cannot hold Chaucer responsible for the miller's tale as he is merely a neutral messenger. ...read more.

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