• In the Knight’s Tale, ..
  • The Miller’s Tale ..
  • which might be seen to ..

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The Canterbury Tales The Reeve’s Tale Summary and Analysis

Sample of Poetic Justice in The Miller's Tale ..

Home Study Guides The Canterbury Tales The Reeve's Tale Summary and Analysis ..
In other words, we ought not merely to consider the generalappropriateness of each tale to the character of the teller: weshould also inquire whether the tale is not determined to someextent, by the circumstances, -- by the situation at the moment, bysome thing that another Pilgrim has said or done, by the turn of adiscussion already under way.Now and then, to be sure, the point is too obvious to beoverlooked, as in the squabble between the Summoner and the Friar andthat between the Reeve and the Miller, in the Shipman's interveningto check the Parson, and in the way in which the gentles head off thePardoner when he is about to tell a ribald anecdote.

so limited as well as for his pride and ..

“The Miller’s Tale” and “The Knight’s Tale ..
5) The two tales assigned to Chaucer-the-Pilgrim, (i.e., Sir Topaz) and continue Chaucer-the-poet's pattern of changing the rules of the game just when we get settled down to expecting either a moral tale or an entertaining though obscene quarrel. Since at least the 1602 Speght edition of Chaucer's collected works, readers have recognized "Thopas" as a deliberate parody of tail-rhyme "Northern" romances, but "Melibee" always has been taken quite seriously as moral instruction. Its linkage to "Monk's Tale" introduces another revelation by Our Host of his home life and personality that grows increasingly ominous. As in the case of "Pardoner's Tale," Our Host is both the instigator of the telling and the interrupter, and in both cases his interruption is scatalogically laced with references to a "toord." Chaucer-the-Pilgrim reacts with charmingly injured pride to Harry's contempt for his "rymyng" and unleashes "a litel tale in prose," the "Melibee," which is perhaps his most unoriginal composition in the CT cycle, being a close translation of Renaud de Louens' Livre de Melibee et de Dame Prudence (after 1336), which is itself a translation of Albertanus of Brescia's Liber consolationis et consilii (1246). The highly moral nature of "Melibee," with its extensive arguments against revenge justice, might be tailored to suit Harry's fear of his own propensity for violent revenge, which follows in the epilogue wherein he asks the Monk to tell a tale (see especially ll. VII.1888-1923). We have seen his violent temper when he interrupted the Pardoner's attempt to pitch his false relics as authentic. Remember he threatened to castrate the Pardoner. Only the Knight seemed able to halt him. What has Chaucer-the-pilgrim (or -the-Poet?) got to do with Our Host?

 

The Knight's Tale; The Miller's ..


The Miller, named Robin, is a stereotypical representation of a dishonest man. He is a rich villager whose prime concern is the augmentation of his own profits. Professor Curry has provided a scientific explanation of the Miller’s character based on Aristotle, Rhazes, and the Secreta Secretorum. His physical characteristics are a reflection of his personality and temperament. His broad-shouldered, stocky built, his huge plump face with luxuriant red beard, and squat nose with an ugly black wart on top --- is symptomatic of his shameless, loquacious, quarrelsome, deceitful and lecherous character. Chaucer states that the Miller is quite an expert in stealing grain and charging thrice the amount and yet has a golden thumb. Chaucer uses the common saying, "An honest miller hath a golden thumb" as a pun, to ironically suggest that this Miller’s golden thumb only serves to increase his own profits. The Miller is very strong and can heave the strongest door off its hinges by battering it with his head. He comes across as a repulsive buffoon who likes to joke about sin and scurrilous tales. He plays the bagpipe very well, and leads the company of pilgrims out of the town, to its soulful music.


Thus considered, the cynicism of theMerchant's Tale is seen to be in no way surprising, and (to answeranother kind of comment which this piece has evoked) in no senseexpressive of Chaucer's own sentiments, or even of Chaucer'smomentary mood.