Part 3, quest 11

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Part 3, quest 11 Empty Part 3, quest 11

Post  Steph on Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:16 pm

11) Write a summary of The Miller’s Tale.

If you want to read the tale, there is a Modern English friendly translation at:

Written by Geoffrey Chaucer near 1390, in Middle English, from the Canterbury Tales.
Alysoun is the wife of a dumb and jealous carpenter, John. Nicholas studies astronomy at his home (the carpenter hosts him) and he falls in love with the carpenter’s wife. He seduces her and she finally agrees to eventually be his secret lover. Another, a parish clerk (Absolon), falls in love with this beautiful woman but she makes his attempts to seduce him a joke. He becomes her ape.

She makes a plan with Nicholas, who stays in his room and appears sick to the carpenter, who thinks it is because he studies too much. They break in by heaving the door, and Nicholas is sitting gaping. Nicholas sighs after a while and speaks in private with the carpenter: He tells him he has Christ’s prophecy to tell him and he must reveal it to no one for fear of vengeance. He tells him a rain so hideous will fall it will drown all mankind: he needs to hang bathtubs so they may float and cut a hole so they may pass, and he can only save the three of them (not the servants). They will be lords of the world like Noah and his wife.

The carpenter’s wife acts as if she’s scared and tells him to go fetch the tubs. He arranges stuff and they climb in them Monday. When the carpenter sleeps, they climb down and go to bed where the couple usually slept.

Absolon asks about the carpenter. He hasn’t seen the carpenter and so he thinks he may have a chance to get a kiss by her window. He tells her hislove and she tells him to leave. She tells him if she gives him his kiss, if he will leave, and stucks her bosom out the window…he kisses it. He wants to make them pay. He gets a coulter from a blacksmith, knocks at her window and promises a ring if she kisses him.

Nicholas puts his arse and farts, but Absolon burns his arse with the hot iron. The carpenter hears Nicholas yell waters, wakes and cuts his cords, and falls down and lays in a swoon. He breaks his arm, and Alysoun and Nicholas tell he is crazy and afraid of Noah ark. So everyone’s screwed…


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Part 3, quest 11 Empty Prologue

Post  natacha on Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:54 pm

Steph already well summarized the tale, but she did not noticed that their was a prologue to the tale, so that's what I explain because I'm sure you don't want to reread the same thing twice :p

The miller’s tale prologue:

1. Now when the knight had thus his story told,
2. In all the rout there was nor young nor old
3. But said it was a noble story, well
4. Worthy to be kept in mind to tell;
5. And specially the gentle folk, each one.
6. Our host, he laughed and swore, "So may I run,
7. But this goes well; unbuckled is the mail;
8. Let's see now who can tell another tale:
9. For certainly the game is well begun.
10. Now shall you tell, sir monk, if't can be done,
11. Something with which to pay for the knight's tale."
12. The miller, who with drinking was all pale,
13. So that unsteadily on his horse he sat,
14. He would not take off either hood or hat,
15. Nor wait for any man, in courtesy,
16. But all in Pilate's voice began to cry,
17. And by the Arms and Blood and Bones he swore,
18. "I have a noble story in my store,
19. With which I will requite the good knight's tale."
20. Our host saw, then, that he was drunk with ale,
21. And said to him: "Wait, Robin, my dear brother,
22. Some better man shall tell us first another:
23. Submit and let us work on profitably."
24. "Now by God's soul," cried he, "that will not I!
25. For I will speak, or else I'll go my way."
26. Our host replied: "Tell on, then, till doomsday!
27. You are a fool, your wit is overcome."
28. "Now hear me," said the miller, "all and some!
29. But first I make a protestation round
30. That I'm quite drunk, I know it by my sound:
31. And therefore, if I slander or mis-say,
32. Blame it on ale of Southwark, so I pray;
33. For I will tell a legend and a life
34. Both of a carpenter and of his wife,
35. And how a scholar set the good wright's cap."
36. The reeve replied and said: "Oh, shut your trap,
37. Let be your ignorant drunken ribaldry!
38. It is a sin, and further, great folly
39. To asperse any man, or him defame,
40. And, too, to bring upon a man's wife shame.
41. There are enough of other things to say."
42. This drunken miller spoke on in his way,
43. And said: "Oh, but my dear brother Oswald,
44. The man who has no wife is no cuckold.
45. But I say not, thereby, that you are one:
46. Many good wives there are, as women run,
47. And ever a thousand good to one that's bad,
48. As well you know yourself, unless you're mad.
49. Why are you angry with my story's cue?
50. I have a wife, begad, as well as you,
51. Yet I'd not, for the oxen of my plow,
52. Take on my shoulders more than is enow,
53. By judging of myself that I am one;
54. I will believe full well that I am none.
55. A husband must not be inquisitive
56. Of God, nor of his wife, while she's alive.
57. So long as he may find God's plenty there,
58. For all the rest he need not greatly care."
59. What should I say, except this miller rare
60. He would forgo his talk for no man there,
61. But told his churlish tale in his own way:
62. I think I'll here re-tell it, if I may.
63. And therefore, every gentle soul, I pray
64. That for God's love you'll hold not what I say
65. Evilly meant, but that I must rehearse,
66. All of their tales, the better and the worse,
67. Or else prove false to some of my design.
68. Therefore, who likes not this, let him, in fine,
69. Turn over page and choose another tale:
70. For he shall find enough, both great and small,
71. Of stories touching on gentility,
72. And holiness, and on morality;
73. And blame not me if you do choose amiss.
74. The miller was a churl, you well know this;
75. So was the reeve, and many another more,
76. And ribaldry they told from plenteous store.
77. Be then advised, and hold me free from blame;
78. Men should not be too serious at a game.


The knight had just told his own story, so the host asks if someone else want to share one. He proposes that the monk shares is tale, but the miller who is a bit drunk, go on. The host doesn’t want him to tell a story right now, but the drunk miller gets upset and tells him he wants to talk. He starts to tell a story about a carpenter and his wife...


The host want the pilgrims to tell their story in order according to their social rack. After the knights, who was the first one to tell his story, the monk should have continued with his own. But the miller, who should have told his own story way after them want to talk. In other words, social tensions as they were at that time are portrayed by Chaucer in that prologue.


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