• 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. 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.


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.


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.

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. 'The Miller's Tale' - Geoffrey Chaucer - Character Analysis - Alison

    Emilye is the archetypal heroine of romance whilst Alison is much more susceptible to the crude advances of Nicholas. Whilst Emily is aloof, unattainable and doesn't hint at any sexual interest, Alison relishes Nicholas's attention, is more than ready to deceive her husband and has no qualms about cuckolding him.

  2. 'The Miller's Tale' - Geoffrey Chaucer - Character Analysis - Nicholas

    It is his reputation from past astrological forecasting that aids his cuckolding of John and the prediction of the flood is so improbable that the carpenter does not consider the possibility that it is invention on Nicholas's part. However, in order for Nicholas's plan to succeed, he has to act convincingly.

  1. The Role of Women in the Miller's and Merchant's Tale.

    They also conspire to and do cuckold their husbands. This is not what marriage is about and it is demonstrated in both tales. What makes the Miller's Tale bawdy comedy and the Merchant's tale bitter satire is in the characterization. In the Miller's tale we are giving stereotyped characters.

  2. How Is The Character Of Nicholas Presented In 'The Miller's Tale'

    Another example of Nicholas' blunt physical treatment of Alison is shown in line 196 when he patronisingly 'thakked hire aboute the lendes well'; this would have been another comment causing slight shock to Chaucer's audience. There are several references to Nicholas in a sexual manner.

  1. How does the tale of the Merchant reflect the character of the Merchant himself?

    The Merchant, on the other hand, is aware from the start that January's efforts are in vain, that wives cannot be controlled no matter how closely their actions are curtailed. His is a world of newly married experience set off against January's refusal to acknowledge experience, and in this sense

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

    This would seem a rather unusual comparison to make. A spade is used for digging earth Chaucer could be trying to subtly implying that he is dirty. Coincidentally the miller's tale is very dirty; it could mean in the sense of vulgarity rather than actual filth, or it could mean both!

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

    We learn that the Merchant does not seem to have any spiritual motives for joining the pilgrimage and perhaps is taking part to increase trade since he was in 'dette', this is evident through his concern of profit and interest in the trading route 'Betwixe Middle burh and Orwelle'.

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

    By describing marriage as a 'tribulacion' we can see her negative attitude towards it. We can also see the positive comments made by the Wife to the institution of marriage. She see's marriage as a type of economical exchange between sex and materialism and as cold-hearted and scheming as she

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