Miller’s Tale - Geoffrey Chaucer, review

Genre: fabliau

Subject matter: love, jealousness, sin, temptation (lechery), stupidity

Theme: human sins are usually punished

Setting: Oxford

Point of view: 3rd person

Style: diction neutral, language – Chaucerian English

Tone: Irony and satire

Characters: Old, jealous carpenter, Alison – his wife, Nicholas – poor student of astrology composing songs, Absalon – perish clerk, mercy child with legs to and fro


1) In Oxford lived an Old carpenter with poor student Nicholas, who composed love songs. 2) Carpenter married young wife Alison (18, years old). 3) Nicholas spent two days with Alison in carpenter’s room, when he got back, he is angry and Nicholas explains him prophecy about flood (plan of Nicholas and Alison). 4) Carpenter must build three barrels to prevent himself before flood. 5) Absolon wants to reveal his senses to Alison so he visits her and sings her. Nicholas and Alison want to make a fun of him so Absolon kisses Nicholas (he prepared to piss) instead of Alison. 6) Absolon now angry wants revenge, takes hot iron and comes to window again. 7) Nicholas is beaten with the iron, starts run and screams for help 8) On that screaming carpenter thought the prophesied flood came so he cut the ropes of the barrels and fall down. 9) Everybody laughed 10) Nicholas was punished – scalded in the toute, Absolon is punished – his love is not fulfilled and only Alison is not punished for the lechery.


And Absolon hath kist his nether eye. Kissed wrong part