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

In The Miller’s Prologue, Chaucer informs us that the Miller “tolde his cherles tale in his manere.” Explore the ways that the Miller’s character is reflected in “The Miller’s Tale”.

Extracts from this document...


In The Miller's Prologue, Chaucer informs us that the Miller "tolde his cherles tale in his manere." Explore the ways that the Miller's character is reflected in "The Miller's Tale". A "Churl" in the light of a medieval definition, claims to be an individual in the lower echelons of society, who is prone to bad manners. From the outset, it becomes clear that the Miller has little or no manners, when he arrives at the Tabard Inn not wearing a hat, something that could be considered to be rude in medieval times. From there, it is decided that the pilgrims shall tell their tales according to social rank; however the Miller interrupts this system, at once allowing the reader to see that he is rude, loud and has no respect for those around him. It is known in advance from his description, that the Miller is a character who is most unlikely to be described as righteous, "and that was moost of sinne and harlotries". ...read more.


It is with this perhaps that he tries to counteract and make up for his "lewed drunken harlotrie". The carpenter has an obvious belief in religion, made apparent by his references to Saints and spirits. This is particularly evident when attempting to wake Nicholas from his "trance", "Jhesu Crist and Seinte Benedight, Blesse this hous from every wikked wight". It is here that the reader is able to see John's limited knowledge of religion, when he mixes up his prayers "where wentestow, Seinte Petre soster?" making it seem that carpenters are ignorant. The Miller also laughs at the expense of all those who attempt "courtly love", making Absolon seem ridiculous in his attempts to gain the hand of Alisoun, who is again not the stereotypical ideal of a medieval damsel, this in itself a dig at those women on pilgrimage who may not be of such an "ideal" of a woman. It was common in medieval times for Miller's to be dishonest or crafty, claiming that they would take the best crops for themselves "wel koude he stelen corn and tollen thries", and in this case charge three times as much for produce. ...read more.


This way of portraying the carpenter could quite easily be taken as a sarcastic remark attempting to provoke the "Reve". As his tale of trickery and deceit unfolds, it would appear that the Miller takes side of Nicholas in his tale, commenting on the carpenter's "fastansie" and the fact that he is "sely". He has little sympathy for the carpenter, indicating that he believes there is nothing wrong or corrupt with Nicholas' pretence and cruelty to John, reiterating again, that the "Millere" is indefinitely a dishonest character himself, with few morals and no hesitation when it comes to laughing at the expense of others. It is obvious that the Miller tells a tale which coincides with his personality. It would appear that he attempts to contrast his tale with that of the Knights; creating Alisoun who is an obvious parody of the Knight's fair Emilie, and mimicking the ways of a courtly lover. Despite the ranks of social importance, it is obvious from the twists that occur in his tale that the Miller, in the face of being a churl, has understandable intelligence of the social side of life. ...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 the tale of the Merchant reflect the character of the Merchant himself?

    merchant and knight are men of their social classes, the merchant recognizing (however reluctantly) the reality of what Strohm calls 'horizontal' social interaction and the knight clinging to established assumptions despite his deep reservations. Set against both these points of view are the implied religious views marriage as a sacred

  2. "What do the first 149 lines of the Merchant's prologue and Tale tell us ...

    A cunning technique possessed throughout the poem is rhetoric; in this case a biblical icon 'Sein Thomas of Inde' (L, 18) is used by the Merchant to support his opinion that married men have terrible lives. Rhetoric plays an effective part in much of the Merchant's narrative, during this period

  1. The heart of the matter, By Graham Greene. "The Sinner is often the saint", ...

    Her demands to go to South Africa are only within reason if Major Scobie borrows money from Yusef, a Syrian merchant well known to the police for accusations of diamond smuggling. Scobie's feels responsible to keep his wife happy and to love her, and affection is demonstrated easier with enabling her to take the trip.

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

    Quote; 'And, therto brood, as though it were a spade'. (Translated as 'And he was broad, as if he were a spade'.) The simile in simple terminology implying his bodily width. One other simile used is about his mouth being a like large furnace.

  1. The Merchant's Tale -summary

    He is purposefully limiting the audience again by presenting a one-sided example, which continues to be a problem. The problem with Chaucer's Merchant is that he may be a bit reticent; by not offering enough details of his own experience with marriage, the Merchant is less believable and may appear to be more deceptive.

  2. In what ways does the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale explore issues of ...

    We can see many examples of misogamy with the language the Wife uses. For example, in lines 172 -174 she states 'And whan that I have toold thee forth my tale/ Of tribulacion in mariage,/ Of which I am expert in al myn age'.

  1. Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Merchant's Tale" - Commentary.

    in their physiques that the Merchant appears to be "assimilating" with his tale. Meanwhile, the squire, Damyan, becomes infatuated with May and falls into a "love sickness" which causes January to send May to his aid. Damyan gives her a letter pleading his case, and May reads it with interest before destroying it.

  2. In what ways do Sylvia Plath's

    has an epiphany of how her role in life is predetermined due to her sex.

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