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Miller's Tale - Analyse the narrative structure of the tale and the effectiveness of its ending.

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Introduction

Assignment: Miller's Tale Analyse the narrative structure of the tale and the effectiveness of its ending. I will be summarising what information is given to the reader at each stage of the tale. How the interest of the reader is maintained, how the ending is relevant given what has gone before. To conclude I will comment on what I feel the point or theme of the tale might be. Below is a brief summary of the main points of the Miller's Tale, from this we can see what information the reader obtains at each stage in the story. John, a rich old carpenter of Oxford has a young wife, the eighteen-year-old Alisoun, whom he guards carefully, for he is very jealous. ...read more.

Middle

Absolon kisses it. He soon realizes his mistake. He gets a hot coulter (plow blade) from Gervase, the smith, and returns to ask for another kiss. Nicholas puts his backside out, Absolon strikes it with the red-hot coulter, Nicholas yells for water; the carpenter awakes and thinks the flood has come, cuts lose his tub and falls and breaks his arm. The neighbors rush in, and all are convinced old John is mad. From lines 652-746 we see the tale moving rapidly to its farcical conclusion. The finale unlocks some very amusing and quite risqu� scenes that in Chaucer's day would have been seen by a much less accepting audience than today. ...read more.

Conclusion

Chaucer makes the reader feel superior to the characters who seem somewhat disillusioned in their pathetic plight to get what they want without paying for the consequences. Nicholas and Alisoun plot to deceive the foolish carpenter of their nefarious doings. Absolon is blinded by his love for Alisoun, who cares nothing for him and constantly makes cruel jokes of him. All these elements help captivate the reader and pull them deep into the personalities of the characters. I noticed that infidelity seems to run prominently as the main theme throughout the tale. There are many more themes such as love, revenge and humour which all seem equally as important. I feel that the main point of the story is that actions have consequences, something the characters did not seem to grasp until everything around them began to fall apart. Stephen Blighe 5/2/2007 AS English Language and Literature ...read more.

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