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Presentation on theme: "THE MILLER’S TALE DAN CALLAHAN, NICK CHRISTAIN"— Presentation transcript:

ALEX JANKOWSKI, SEAN QUINN Miller Hosey Honors English 12 Period 6/7 10/31/11

Satires Mockery Verbal Irony Elegies Fantasy fiction Poetry Translations Allegories Parodies

3 SUMMARY The Miller interrupts the group
“The prologue to the Miller's Tale locates the Miller initially in terms of physical positioning, introducing him as someone who drunkenly cuts in front of the Monk”(Lomperis) Tale begins with John and Nicolas John married to Alison; Nicolas falls in love with her Absolon The lie told by Nicolas; Alison and Nicolas’ intentions Absolon comes to Alison for a kiss Absolon takes revenge John and the bathtub “This tale is done, and God save the company!”

4 SETTING Oxford- one of the cities in England
Mainly illustrated in and around the Carpenter’s house Known for the university nearby Story told over one and a half weeks(Friday to Monday) Friday- beginning of the tale Saturday- “And so it chanced that on a Saturday, this carpenter departed to Osney (Page 11 Line 291-2) Sunday-And ate and slept, or did what pleased him best, till Sunday when the sun had gone to rest (Page 11 Line 313-4) Next Sunday- “That now come Monday next, at nine of night, shall fall a rain so wildly mad as would” (Page 14 Line 408-9)


6 John the Carpenter Craft and Wife=all he had Gullible
Poor (Page 4, Line 82) Old (Page 5, Line 117) Protective Thought of as “crazy” in the end “The carpenter about whom the Miller tells directly points to St. Joseph of the Holy Family (Rowland) Also related to Noah (wife not part of his boat)

7 Absalom Good appearance (Page 8, Lines 206-216) Womanizer… not really
Went to bars (strange) (Page 8, Line 226) Golden curly hair Did not like farting (foreshadow) (Page 8, Line 230) Brands Nicolas “Plays the part of courtly lover by repeating the Song of Songs” (Lomperis)

8 Nicolas Wealthy, friendly Wants Alison Astrologist (Page 4 Line 84)
Branded by Absalom Beguiles John and town (Page 12, Line ) and (Page 24, Line 738) “Nicolas as the Evil one and Alison as Eve” (Lomperis)

9 Alison Beautiful (Page 6 Line 127) Attraction of all the men
“Representation of the “prize” serves to mock and subvert the Knight’s chivalric culture” (Patterson) Helps deceive John Kissed in the arse (Page 21, Line 626)

10 Minor (but essential) Characters
Robyn- servant knave of John “Chaucer has the Miller place in his tale a young servant of his own name, Robyn” (Eyler) Shows the strength, but not “smarts” with the door hinge (Page 12 Line 361) Dan Jarvis Blacksmith No importance Gives Absalom the hot poker


12 SYMBOLS General Symbols Specific Examples from The Millers Tale
Springtime Clothing Physiognomy Specific Examples from The Millers Tale Kneading Trough, Tub, and Kimelin Imagery: Animals Allegory: The Fall of Man The Hot Poker


14 MOTIFS Romance Blindness Dirty Humor
Alison causes men to fall in love with her Whole plot based upon love Blindness All characters blind to the obvious Absolom with Alison “Absolon seems to indulge a kind of unattached flurry that anticipates his failures to locate himself in real perceptual fields”(Gallacher) John with the flood “It is easy for an educated scholar (Nicolas) to play on the superstition of a medieval carpenter." (Rumsey) Nicolas and Alison short minded Dirty Humor Why does Chaucer use dirty humor in the plot(Farts, buttocks jokes)? Looks down upon character’s actions


16 THEMES The desire for sex is the ultimate goal.
Youthful and old acceptable sexual pairing? Difference between sex and love Love versus Lust What does love really mean? Love is either misguided or not love at all Lies and deceit versus reality and the truth There is a “large contrast between what is real or truthful and what one character tells another” (Gallacher). Cheating, tricks All for sex Competition for an ultimate prize leads to the corruption of morals. Love triangle = two men compete for a woman Woman = “prize”

17 FIGURATIVE LANUAGE Some about setting
“Dark was the night as pitch, aye dark as coal” (623). “Chaucer uses strong similes and metaphors to describe his well developed characters”(Sexton) The carpenter “This carpenter had recently married a wife whom he loved more than he loved his life” ( ) “He was old, And deemed himself as like to be cuckold” ( ). Cuckold = husband to an unfaithful wife Nicolas “he was sly and meek as and virgin passing by” (93-94). Sly=cunning/secret meek=patient/tame “Nicholas had just then let fly a fart as loud as it had been a thunderclap” ( )

18 Figurative Language cont.
Absalom “Curled was his hair, shining like gold” (206). Says to Alison: “I have such love-longing that like a turtle-dove’s my true yearning” ( ). Says to Alison: “I can eat no more than can a maid” (599). Alison “Fair was this youthful wife, and therewithal as weasel’s was her body slim and small” ( ). “And songs came shrilling from her pretty head as from a swallow’s sitting on a shed” ( ). Shrilling – loud pitched and piercing sound “Her forehead shone as bright as does the May” (202).


20 Saint Benedict and Paul
Benedict Paul patron saint influenced of education and the spread of Students religion and Catholicism (Page 8, Line 210) (Page 12, Line 375)

21 Absalom Alluded to throughout the tale “peaceful”- contradiction
“Noted for his personal beauty And extraordinary profusion of the hair In his head” (Sam)

22 Noah “Noah’s Ark” (Page 14, Line 426)
“essential to the central action is the story of Noah and the Flood, which dramatists treated as one of the most important prefigurations in the cycle” (Eyler)

23 Pontius Pilate (Page 1, Line 16)
“The expression “Pilate voys” points to the fact that voice, not body is the importance of this narration” (Lomperis) Man who crucified Jesus Prefect of the Roman province Judea Strong Leader People Listened to him- connects him To the narrator

24 Mystery Plays (Page 3, Line 78) Medieval plays
Forms of the Biblical Texts Called “games” or miracles” “game was equivalent for dramatic performance to support his claim that a proclamation admonishing an audience to keep quiet and not interrupt the “game” was a fragment of the Mystery Play (Rowland)

25 St. Joseph Husband of the virgin Mary Carpenter Relates to John
“Like St. Joseph, he too was aged, married to a young wife, and fearful of being cuckolded” (Rowland)

26 Cato More than one wife Roman statesmen Changed the Romans Orator
(Page 5 Line 119)

27 St. Thomas One of Jesus’ disciples Disbelieved Jesus’ resurrection
(Page 11 Line 317)

Portrayed as a rough and not classy character in prologue Drunk while telling story Good story teller Uses many similes and metaphors easy to follow along Knights tale was about romance and heroism Miller’s Tale follows The Knight’s Tale mocking “Nicholas and Absalom’s actions mock the heroism the knight displays” (Patterson) “The Miller’s Tale is an example of a fabliau, a short humorous narrative genre that creates tension between bourgeois and working class” (Schwartz) Shows contrasts just as the Miller and the Knight would show through characters and real issues Low class = good story tellers

29 HUMOR “…it constructs Absolon from a mass of assumptions about sexuality and gender, masculinity and bodily functions “(Walker) Characterizes Absolon's kiss, thus, not only as a shameful kiss, but a shameful kiss of a woman (Lomperis)

Young Love 


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