Millers tale

Adapted from the Middle English by Dr.

Millers tale

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Prologue[ edit ] The general prologue to The Canterbury Tales describes the MillerRobin, as a stout and evil churl fond of wrestling. However, the Miller insists on going next.

He claims that his tale is "noble", but reminds the other pilgrims that he is quite drunk and cannot be held accountable for what he says. He explains that his story is about a carpenter and his wife, and how a clerk "hath set the wrightes cappe" that is, fooled the carpenter. Osewold the Reevewho had originally been a carpenter himself, protests that the tale will insult carpenters and wives, but the Miller carries on anyway.

In a way the Miller requites the "Knight's Tale", and is himself directly requited with " The Reeve's Tale ", in which the Reeve follows Robin's insulting story about a carpenter with his own tale disparaging a miller. Millers tale is remarkable for its cat hole.

Few doors with cat holes have survived from this early period, but the Millers tale English writer Geoffrey Chaucer described one in the "Miller's Tale" from his Canterbury Tales.

In the narrative, a servant whose knocks go unanswered, uses the hole to peek in: The carpenter, John, lives in Oxford with his much younger wife, Alisoun, who is a local beauty.

To make extra money, John rents out a room in his house to a clever scholar named Nicholas, who has taken a liking to Alisoun. Another scholar in the town, Absolon the parish clerk, also has his eye on Alisoun.

The action begins when John makes a day trip to a nearby town. While he is gone, Nicholas physically grabs Alisoun "by the queynte" and then persuades her to have sex with him.

From the SparkNotes Blog

Shortly afterward, Alisoun goes to church, where Absolon sees her and immediately is filled with "love-longing. Alisoun rebuffs all his efforts, however, because she is already involved with Nicholas. Nicholas, meanwhile, longs to spend a whole night in Alisoun's arms rather than just the few moments they get together during John's absences.

Millers tale

With Alisoun, he hatches a scheme that will enable him to do this. He convinces John that God is about to send a great flood like the one he sent in Noah's time. He says that God told him they could save themselves by hanging three large tubs from the ceiling to sleep in.

Once the waters rose, they would cut the ropes and float away. John believes him and duly climbs into his tub. He thinks Nicholas and Alisoun are doing the same, but in fact, they are spending the night together in John's bed. That same night, Absolon comes and begs Alisoun to kiss him.

At first she refuses him, but she finally agrees. Instead of presenting her lips to Absolon's, though, she sticks her backside out the bedroom's "shot-window" privy ventand Absolon kisses her "ers" in the dark.

Angry at being fooled, Absolon gets a red-hot coulter from the smith with which he intends to burn Alisoun. When he returns, though, Nicholas sticks his backside out to get in on the joke and farts in Absolon's face.

Absolon thrusts the coulter "amidst the ers" of Nicholas who cries out for "Water!Alfred Dunhill Links Window Dressing Competition. The winner is Millers Tale on Greyfriars Garden.

The Miller’s Prologue and Tale

Congratulations! Many thanks to all the 30 businesses that took part, the town looks fabulous in all its Alfred Dunhill Links Championship festivities! # DunhillLinks # StAndrews # ShopLocal5/5(5). The Miller's Tale. Whilom ther was dwellynge at oxenford A riche gnof, that gestes heeld to bord, And of his craft he was a carpenter.

The Canterbury Tales Full Text - The Miller’s Tale - Owl Eyes

With hym ther was dwellynge a poure scoler, Hadde lerned art, but al his fantasye Was turned for to lerne astrologye. Again, in The Miller's Tale, each character's vocation is comically relevant.

Carpentry is relevant first because it justifies old John's building the tubs (arks) and, second, because the carpenters' guild normally staged the Noah plays in the medieval mystery cycles.


The Miller's reference to this historical character suggests that he does not know the whole history that he alludes to and is simply trying to make references to make his story like the Knight's tale. A summary of The Miller’s Prologue and Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

Millers tale

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Canterbury Tales and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale. It helps middle and high school students understand Geoffrey Chaucer's literary masterpiece.

SparkNotes: The Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Prologue and Tale, page 2