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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.

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Introduction

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. The miller's character is made apparent from the beginning of the prologue. Most of the pilgrims expected people to tell their tales in the order of their social rank. For instance the knight went first as he was from the court. However the miller interrupts this order. This at once lets the readers know that the miller is loud, rude and he has no regards for people around him. These characteristics are also evident throughout the miller's tale. One way that the miller's character is shown is through the physical description of the miller. One of the things that is said in the portrait of the miller is: 'His nosethirles blake were and wide.' In the time that the miller's tale was set, people believed that they could determine ones character solely based on their physical appearance. Red hair and large nostrils were thought to indicate anger and foolishness, both of which are characteristics of the miller. Also the miller's character seems to be reflected in the tale as the story has a lot of similar traits to the miller. The story for instance, is raucous, bawdy and coarse, like the miller himself. ...read more.

Middle

In the prologue it claims the miller is so drunk that he can barely sit on his horse as it says "The millere, that for drunken was al pale, So that unnethe upon his hors he sat," However, the miller manages to relate the tale somewhat fluently, so perhaps how drunk the miller was, was exaggerated for comic purposes. Other evidence of the miller liking his drink, is when the miller plays tribute to the 'ale of southwerk' in line 32 in the prologue. The fact that the miller is very drunk may explain for his bold interruption and the sort of tale he tells. The miller is shown to have no regards for people around him, especially the women on the pilgrimage. The tale the miller told, at the time would have been considered not at all suitable to be told in front of women. Before the tale is told the miller apologises for the type of tale he is about to tell, but this does not prevent the miller from going ahead and telling it. An example of what the miller says in the tale that would shock his audience is "He caught hire by the queynte" This is the type of plain speaking the miller apologised for before telling his tale. Most of the other pilgrims would not have even considered using this sort of language in front of women and people from the courts. ...read more.

Conclusion

The knight, who went first, told a tale of romantic love. On the other hand, in the miller's tale, the miller presents us with the real everyday world. In the tale, the miller shows his thoughts of courtly love through Absolon. The miller clearly takes sides when he is telling the tale and makes Absolon seem ridiculous. Absolon has a superficial idea of love, which is similar to the higher-class courtly love. The miller makes Absolon idea of love seem even more ridiculous by the everyday setting of the tale. The miller portrays Absolon as foolish and immature, which is exactly the millers view on courtly love. The miller is also very patronising towards Absolon. An example of this is on line 217, where Absolon is described as "A mirie child he was, so God me save." This comment is especially patronising comment, so the miller could emphasise Absolon foolishness. From only reading the miller's tale the readers can clearly see what the millers views are. The readers can also see the miller is more intelligent than what the pilgrims initially believed. In conclusion the miller tells a tale that fits his personality. While reading his tale, the readers can get an insight into his personality and mind. The cleverness and twists that occur in this tale show that though he is a churl, he is still an intelligent man with a higher-level knowledge than those who have more social importance. This is reflected through the characters, the language used and the type of tale that is told. Michelle Stevenson ...read more.

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