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The Miller's tale - insults

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In the battle between Chaucer's Miller and Chaucer's Reeve, the Reeve succeeds in insulting the Miller more than the Miller insulted the Reeve. The Miller's tale is more of a comedy, as opposed to being a tale of insults such as the Reeve's tale. In the Miller's tale he portrays the Reeve as being oblivious to everything around him, while in the Reeve's tale the Miller is aware of all that is happening and continues to be fooled. A drunken fool tells the Miller's tale, so it is not as elaborate as the Reeve's tale and doesn't contain as many offensive comments. In the Miller's tale the Reeve's wife is having relations with one of the younger men in town, while in the Reeve's tale both the Miller's daughter and wife are having relations with the men in town. In the Miller's tale the Miller's main goal was to make fun of the Reeve and not be too serious. In the Miller's tale he uses basic humor in order to insult the Reeve. In response to the Miller's tale the Reeve is angry, and does a much better job of insulting the Miller. ...read more.


"That Monday next, a quarter way through night, rain is to fall in torrents, such a scud it will be twice as bad as Noah's Flood."(97) This is a crazy idea and the Miller is portraying the Reeve as an idiot for believing this. In the Reeve's tale, the Miller is exposed in front of his family and gets fooled in a continuous chain of events. First, his daughter along with his wife, have relations in the same room as him. Then he continues to get beat up by Alan, who was the man who slept with his daughter. At the end of the Reeve's tale, Alan and John leave the miller's house and as they are leaving they steal back all the flour he had stolen from them before. "The clerks beat him well and left him lying and throwing on their clothes they took their horse and their ground meal and off they went, of course, and as they passed the mill they took the cake made of the meal the girl was told to bake."(118) ...read more.


"Down by their ladders, stalking from on high came Nicholas and Alison, and sped softly downstairs, without a word, to be, and where this carpenter was wont to be the revels started and the melody. And thus lay Nicholas and Alison busy in solace and the quest of fun."(100-101) The Reeve comes back in his tale and insults the miller even more than he did to him. He tells in his tale that the miller's wife cheats on him, and then his daughter has relations with a man in his own bedroom. "She well and fairly crept in with the clerk, then lay quite still and tried to go to sleep. John waited for a while, then gave a leap ad thrust himself upon this worthy wife."(116) This is where the miller's wife gets into bed with John, one of the men in his house. The Reeve doubles the insult that the miller directing at him by having both his wife and daughter engage in relations, and it was all in the same room as him. The Reeve uses many more ways to insult the Miller than the Miller uses to insult him. He made connections in his tale in order to offend and mock the Miller in a much more effective way. ...read more.

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