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What impression of the Miller does Chaucer create in the portrait?

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Introduction

What impression of the Miller does Chaucer create in the portrait? Extracted from the general prologue, the portrait of the Miller begins by explaining his physical appearance. His physique is said to be 'ful big of brawn and eek of bones' indicating he was stocky, big boned and had large muscles. He was also 'short-sholdred' meaning broad. This suggests he could be quite threatening to look at. The Miller had a red beard as wide as a spade, a hairy wart on the top right of his nose, wide black nostrils and a huge mouth as great as a furnace. Chaucer creates a very clear image in our minds of the Miller and the impression given through his physical description suggests he is rather ugly. ...read more.

Middle

by his side, further suggesting he was always fighting. In mirroring his bad physical appearance, there is a suggestion that the Miller could have been a thief. 'Ther was no dore that he nolde heve of harre' says that there was no door he would not have off its hinges. This implies that the Miller wondered the town banging down doors to steal. It further reads 'Or breke it at a renning with his heed' stating he would run at the door with his head. This additionally enforces the impression that the Miller was violent. The idea that he could have been a thief is also given in that he would steal corn by weighing three times the expected amount which indicates he was an unfair man. ...read more.

Conclusion

The ideas created using the fox are mentioned later by the suggestion that the Miller is cunning when weighing corn to gain more for himself. Another comparison Chaucer uses is that of the devil. Through out the portrait the language chosen can be interpreted to present the miller as the devil incarnate. At first there is only a subtle mention by making the Miller's beard red. This colour can be associated with hell. He is then described as having a 'mouth as greet was as a greet forneys' meaning his mouth was as big as a furnace. A furnace can also be associated with hell, especially in that period, as it is red, hot and firry. Then we are also told that he played the bagpipes, which again, especially in that period, was associated with hell as it is believed this was the instrument the devil played. ...read more.

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