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The Juxtaposition of the sacred and the erotic is typical of the miller's style of story telling. With reference to the extract (lines 540-548), discuss the narrative technique employed in this tale

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Introduction

The Juxtaposition of the sacred and the erotic is typical of the miller's style of story telling. With reference to the extract (lines 540-548), discuss the narrative technique employed in this tale The Miller has employed the technique of the juxtaposition of the sacred and erotic in this tale for effect as it is offensive yet humorous and entertaining. Juxtaposition is the combining of two different improbable ideas next to each other which is used to generate great contrast and shock, thus it makes this technique very successful. In the prologue, the Miller states that he will tell a 'legend and a lyf.' This indicates that his story would evolve around the life of saints and it also implies pious narratives. However, this is not true as his tale is not about saints but is rather a story in the form of a bawdy fabliau. This is foreshadowing the fact that the Miller will parody religious themes in his tale. Fabliau is a medieval literary genre that told the story of a bourgeois husband whose wife cheats on him with a younger man. This type of literature also deals realistically with middle class or lower class characters. One of the narrative techniques used by the Miller is irony. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that Alison does not feel guilty or ashamed of what she is going to conduct. It also highlights the fact that she is an irresponsible, wild, spontaneous and reckless character. Another example of the combination of religion and the profane is shown when Nicholas says that he had a vision of a flood from God-'it is Cristes conseil that I seye.' Again, Nicholas is depicted like Gabriel as he allegedly delivers a message from God. Nicholas uses the biblical story of Noah to create an opportunity to be alone with Alison. This shows how cunning and deceiving Nicholas is. The impression given by Nicholas seems to suggest that God has identified him to save John and Alison and himself alone. This is scandalous because Nick's sole intention is sexual conquest and therefore the great flood is simply an absurd ploy used to trick John. Here, John is portrayed as being very stupid and gullible because the Bible states that the world should end with fire and not by a flood as Nicholas seems to suggest. This indicates how ignorant John is because he should have known about this piece of common knowledge and therefore would not have so readily believed the nonsense that Nick has told him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The style in which the Miller begins his tale is similar to the style used by the Knight. He starts off with-'once upon a time' which is fairy tale like. It is used to mock the Knight's Tale. Furthermore, the Miller's tale is similarly framed by a love triangle. Absolon is a parody of the courtly lover as he woos Alison with songs and conducts his seduction in public just like Arcite and Palamon who woo Emily in the Knight's Tale. When Nicholas woos Alison, the language that he uses is like a courtly lover-'Lemman, love me al atones, or I wol dyen, also God me save!' This suggests that he would rather die than not to have Alison's love. Consequently, the technique of parody is used to mock the Knight. On the other hand The Miller's Tale differs from the Knight's Tale as it is set in the contemporary world and not the epic or heroic past. Also, the characters are lower class people and not aristocrats. Additionally this tale does not involve idealized love but instead there is heavy emphasis on cunningness, deception and stupidity and not virtue and morals. Overall, the juxtaposition of the sacred and the erotic is very effective in synchronizing with the bawdy and witty characteristic of this fabliau. In conclusion, the narrative techniques help to establish the Miller's unique and successful style of storytelling. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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