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How does Chaucer present views of women in the fourteenth century in 'The Miller's Tale'?

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Introduction

Year 12 AS English Literature Unit 3 Chaucer's' The Miller's Tale' How does Chaucer present views of women in the fourteenth century in 'The Miller's Tale'? Throughout the tale Chaucer has put women in different perspectives. Women in the fourteenth century were very young when they were married. It wasn't unusual to be married before the age of 19. So in Alison's case, it was normal for her to be married to the old carpenter John. It can be understood why she was taken by Nicholas. Women around the fourteenth century were meant to bbe housewives that stayed at home whilst the husband went to work and earned the money. ...read more.

Middle

This means that she did attempt to resist temptation, which means she can think for herself. She doesn't need a man to tell her what to do. It can be clearly seen that John the carpenter loves Alison and would do anything to keep her with him. Which isn't keeping her happy. He is a jealous man and very suspicious of where she goes and what she does. This results in her staying in the house most of the time, typical for most women in the fourteenth century. When Nicholas sees her he wants her, this almost puts her on a pedestal. It looks as though the men are willing to do anything to get her. ...read more.

Conclusion

How Nicholas and Absolon both want to be with her, the comical view comes from what they do to win her over. What people seem to forget is that Chaucer is not writing this tale for women to read. In the fourteenth century men were seen as the imperial ones, women were seen as stay at home housewives. Men would have been the only people to read tales like this one. This may have offended them due to men being made to look stupid, this is because each man gets a fitting punishment for his crime. John falls through the roof, Nicholas has a hot iron pressed on his bottom and Absolon kisses Alisons bottom. All these punishments for one woman, who could be said to have caused all the problems, and she doesn't get punished at all. ...read more.

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