• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the importance of lines 493-548 in the context of the whole of 'The Miller's prologue and Tale'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is the importance of lines 493-548 in the context of the whole of 'The Miller's prologue and Tale'? In lines 493-548, John, the carpenter, carries out the instructions given to him by Nicholas. The extract is important to the tale as it furthers the plot, shows Chaucer's attitude towards the action, shows Chaucer's skill as a writer, heightens the realism of the tales setting and gives a clear presentation of John. The extract, and tale as a whole, show many literary forms and techniques. For example: fabliau, parody, satire and decorum. With regard to the plot, this extract is very important. It shows the culmination of Alison and Nicholas' affair, which is told by Chaucer, rather than the Miller or an omniscient narrator. This would appear to be the event that the entirety of action in the play is aiming for. In contrast to the rest of the tale, this event is less crude and not described in detail: 'And thus lith Alison and Nicholas, In bisyness of mirth and of solas.' ...read more.

Middle

This reverses typical gender roles suggesting the John is even more un-educated than hinted at by his stereotype: 'Help us to scape, or we been dede echon! I am thy trewe, verray wedded wyf' Lines 500-501 John is also ridiculed by his servants, who he sends on a false errand to London. This is more ironic as it means they will not be there to witness Alison and Nicholas' affair. In this extract, Chaucer shows 'The Miller's Tale' as a parody of the bible. The three tubs that John suspends from rafters are a representation of Noah's arc. Comedy is again created by the ignorance of John to religion as it was promised that the world would never be destroyed again. Chaucer uses a French literary form called a fabliau. This is a brief comic tale, often written in verse, which is usually insulting and obscene. Fabliaux usually target greed, hypocrisy, and pride, and they also prey upon old age, ignorance, and husbands' attempts to guard their wives' chastity. In 'The Miller's Tale' a fabliau is especially appropriate as it is plot driven with characters depicted in a particularly unflattering way, although, Chaucer uses ...read more.

Conclusion

The Miller also uses John in an attempt to antagonise the Reeve in the first layer of the tale, that Chaucer has created, of the pilgrim's themselves. The Reeve has also been cuckolded, like John, and the Miller is suggesting that the Reeve is similar to John in ignorance also. Chaucer has succeeded in creating a multi-layered network of tales to form 'The Canterbury Tales' as a whole and 'The Miller's Tale' is just a small part of this network. Lines 492-548 are important in advancing the plot of 'The Miller's Tale' and also in giving comedic entertainment to the pilgrims and the reader of the tales. The extract also furthers the plot between the pilgrims as it shows the relationships between them, for example, the feud between the Miller and the Reeve. Theses lines are also important in showing literary forms and genres used by Chaucer with great skill, from the multi-layered commentary using both himself and a fictitious character to tell the tale to the use of satire, parody and fabliau together in the tales as a whole. Mikaela Wheatley ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. Chaucer: Satire And Humor

    She is also obsessed animals, and she is in love with them so much she prefers them over her fellow human beings (Brewer 18). The next religious figure Chaucer describes is the Monk. Usually, Monks live in monasteries or churches, but Chaucer's Monk is the master of his own estate who is somewhat wealthy.

  2. "What do the first 149 lines of the Merchant's prologue and Tale tell us ...

    An issue concerning this image is its reliability since this narrative is directly told by Chaucer, a controller of custom's, hence he may present the Merchant in a negative light, which is reinforced by his sarcastic tone and by adjectives such as 'worthy' to mock the Merchant.

  1. What are the arguments of the Wife of Bath in relation to marriage? How ...

    of the knight, are related to her loyalty to him, she suggests the idea that ugliness and age, unlike youth and beauty, are "grete wardeins upon chastitee" (line 1222) - although she is old and ugly, she will always be "[his] trewe humble wif" (line 1227), and will "nevere displese [him] in al [his] lif" (line 1228).

  2. In what ways does the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale explore issues of ...

    Even though she did not have material wealth over her first three husbands, it is her beauty and youth that she can use to her advantage. The Wife feels that she has the right to granted sexual freedom, an idea that was frowned upon in the contemporaneous society she provides

  1. General Notes on Chaucer and the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

    The rascals far outnumber the admirable figures. Chaucer seems to admire them all, without regard to their moral status. That has seemed a problem to many readers; a classic solution is offered by E.T. Donaldson in his article "Chaucer the Pilgrim," though Donaldson's solution should be applied with caution.

  2. The Merchant's Tale -summary

    It can be interpreted that the only danger January foresees is that so much felicity in marriage will ruin his chance of a blissful afterlife: "Yet is ther so parfit felicitee/ And so greet ese and lust in mariage.....That I shal have myn hevene in erthe heere.

  1. Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Merchant's Tale" - Commentary.

    of male/female relationships, for he has no positive life experience on which to base that kind of insight. He has carved out a role for himself and a role for his wife, and he expects everyone else -- including his fictional characters -- to fall into those roles as well.

  2. How effectively does Chaucer depict human nature and human folly in the Merchant's tale?

    Chaucer has used this scene well to show us exactly the knight's thoughts. As the characters tell him what they think, inversely it is really what he thinks; by the way he chooses to ignore Justinus we know that he throws the proper thinking aside, and by listening to Placebo he listens to what he wants.and desires.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work