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Is the “Miller’s Tale” suited to its teller?

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Introduction

Is the "Miller's Tale" suited to its teller? I think that the Miller is well suited to the tale that he tells. The tale is bawdy, and so is the Miller's character. We learn from the Miller's portrait that "his mouth as great as a greet forneys" and he tells "synne and noriotries". We know from this that the Miller will be telling a crude story and using crude language, not a romance. We also know that the Miller is lower class and has more brawn than brains. This shows he will be telling an obscene story of how he perceives reality, which is likely to be about lust and adultery, as in all fabliaus. ...read more.

Middle

The tale is about adultery and the miller believes that all women are adulterous and tells the Reeve that "He who hath no wife, he is no cokewold". In the tale we were told that John was jealous and "heeld hire narwe in cage". This shows that John has similar views to those of the Miller because he cannot trust his wife. The Miller is uneducated and sets out to offend Nicolas who is clever and educated. This is why in the end Nicolas is punished by being "scalded in the towte". Absolon is also attracted because he is effeminate. This miller dislikes effeminate men because he himself is very masculine. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet the Miller would not be clever enough to know how to import these conventions into the fabliau. In the "Miller's prologue" we are told that "Oure hooste saugh that he was dronke of ale". Because the Miller was in such a drunken state critics argue that he wouldn't have been able to remember every little detail of the tale and that he would have not been in any state to tell it in rhyming couplets. Over all I think that this fabliau is well suited to its teller because both the story, and the Miller's thoughts on life are obscene and rude. The tale is told by the Miller who things that all women are dishonest and easy, which is how women and relationships and portrayed in the tale. ...read more.

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