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

How important is the prologue to understanding the 'Millers Tale'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How important is the prologue to understanding the 'Millers Tale' At the start of each of the individual Canterbury Tales, there is a prologue, which simply acts as a connector. A prologue allows a series of short stories to become a longer piece and provides an insight into the behaviour and views of the pilgrims telling each tale. The prologue preceding the 'Miler's Tale' is filled with the rules of social etiquette and touches on the boundaries Chaucer daringly elaborates with his use of characterisation in the tale itself. The prologue begins with a reference to the last tale told, that of the knight, which Chaucer describes as "a noble storie". By using this reference to the knight's tale provides the opportunity to contrast with the crude character of the miller and thus these two juxtaposing characters enhance Chaucer's characterisation. ...read more.

Middle

The order in which the tales are told are, in fact, down to this social hierarchy and the standing of each individual pilgrim so following the knight's tale, should be the monk. However the miller, "drunken" and "al pale", interrupts this hierarchal rank by clearly stating "by armes, and by blood and bones, I kan a noble tale for the nones, with which I wol now quite the Knightes tale". Not only is this speech filled with irony, "a noble tale" but also provides an outlet for Chaucer's parody of social etiquette and form. This sheer distain for his standing in society is also shown through his inability and lack of courtesy to take off his hood and hat, considered deeply offensive when in company, especially when the company one is keeping consists of figures from a higher 'class' than the miller. ...read more.

Conclusion

An effect of the prologue is that it provides an aspect of reality, with regards to the stories; it allows the reader to experience the people behind the stories. In the miller's case, this prologue enhances his character and allows the reader to experience the kind of man that would tell a story such as this to a group of travelling pilgrims. It also serves as the first occasion to present Chaucer's lack of respect for the Catholic Church. The sheer fact that a man, such as the miller, would be travelling on a religious pilgrimage is suggesting that the church is corrupt and thus not all it is expected to be. ?? ?? ?? ?? Laura Phillips 12DM The Millers Tale April 2006 The Prologue ...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 Is The Character Of Nicholas Presented In 'The Miller's Tale'

    It is typical that John is often full of wisdom and mockery of the learned man, describing how it is a sin to pry into God's business and implying that he is better than scholars like Nicholas, but is soon eager to listen to his advice and benefit from his knowledge.

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

    Chaucer also indicates the miller as being a fighter he wrestles and he has a small shield and a sword by his side and we already know he is very strong. Quote; 'A swerd and bokeler bar he by his side'.

  1. How does Chaucer present the Miller in The prologue to the Miller's Tale?

    In addition, in the time that the play was wrote Pilate was a famous character in plays who was presented as an evil and violent figure, this makes the reader think that the Miller must also be evil and violent.

  2. The Miller's Tale: Lines 364-489

    the plan as believable as possible by using feasible reasons for how he knows about the flood meaning that the story is more credible. This could also show something about the character of John, in that he cannot be as stupid as everyone makes him out to be, if Nicholas

  1. It is impossible to feel either sympathy or admiration for any of the characters ...

    Even though it is John that tells this tale, it does not prevent him later being fooled by Nicholas's highly improbable prediction that he is to be the second Noah, the outcome being irony provoked here by Chaucer. As John decides to check on Nicholas's well being, he discovers him

  2. Discuss Chaucer's use of variety in The Merchant's Prologue and Tale.

    The marriage of May and Januarie brings attention to their names. While the spring month of May is full of life, the winter month of January is a new beginning (to the year), but still contains the cold deadness of winter.

  1. Compare and contrast the presentation of three pilgrims from Chaucer's General Prologue' and show ...

    Like The Pardoner, The Monk is not a true clergyman; The Pardoner sells fake relics such as white sheets and says they are the Virgin Mary's veil and The Monk goes on pilgrimages to get out of the monastery. The Knight has many pastimes, but most are associated with war,

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of three pilgrims from Chaucer's 'General Prologue' and show ...

    All of the characters have very different clothes and appearances these appearances have implications on their personality and characteristics. The Knight for example wears "a gypon al bismotered with his habergeon", this shows his devotion to God because he has just come back from battle and the first thing he does is go to Canterbury and give thanks to God.

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