• 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

    Chaucer begins with the description of the Nun. When you think of a Nun, you think of a very holy and religious figure, but Chaucer's Nun is the exact opposite of this stereotypical assertion. The Nun likes to do many different non-religious things, such as drinking and taking part in sports.

  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. Discuss Chaucer's use of variety in The Merchant's Prologue and Tale.

    However, when May is unfaithful and even laughs at her husband's age and pathetic nature, the reader's sympathies swing towards Januarie. Yet before "the naddre in bosom sly untrewe" (l. 574) enters the marriage, Januarie has treated May as a business-like purchase.

  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. Remind yourself of lines 77-162 of The Wife of Bath's Prologue. How does Chaucer ...

    Although the Wife recognises that virginity is the ideal, she constantly tries to justify her way of life and explain why it should be accepted by the church. She uses logic and metaphors to support her points, such as her argument about the practicality of wives compared with virgins: "For

  1. From the time of his birth, in December of 1891, to his death in ...

    He spent some time in Hollywood where he focused on his watercolor painting. Needing a place to call home where his art could flourish, he chose Big Sur, a town in Northern California. In 1944 he married a woman named Janina Martha Lepska, with whom he had two more children, Tony and Valentine.

  2. The Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale - How does Chaucer’s portrait of Alison ...

    There is a sense of doom for John the Carpenter. It seems too good to be true that an old man like him should have such a beautiful wife. It is obvious something is going to happen to take her from him.

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