Written in Middle English
Written in Middle English, The Canterbury Tales is a group of stories by the author Geoffrey Chaucer. Within these stories, The Miller’s Tale is a story about a carpenter, his young and beautiful wife, and the people who are keen to sleeping with her. Throughout the story, readers are excited on the outcome of what will happen. The Miller’s Tale by Chaucer, is focused on the life of a carpenter, his wife and the events leading to her being unfaithful.
In the city of Oxford, there were once a wealthy carpenter named John who lived with his wife Alison. The carpenter John was an old controlling and jealous person, when it came to his lovely young bride Alison. Alison on the other hand, was a young and beautiful eighteen year old female who was being kept inside her home because of her beauty and wildness. John saw and did this as a means to keep his bride from being unfaithful, by having some form of sexual relationship with another man in the town. Her beauty was no competition in the town that they lived, and every man would desire her for their own bride. Little did john know that by keeping her locked up in his house, she would be eager to explore her with the desire she had for Nicholas.
Nicholas a student studying astrology and had a passion for love, was also living in the house because he was renting a room. Nicholas was known to every one as being smart, cunning and his ability to sweet talk a person. One day while John was away on a business trip, Nicholas started flirted with Alison and touched her where she leased expected. Knowing the love that he had for her, Nicholas wanted for both him and Alison to be engaged in making love to each other. “O darling love me, love me now, or I shall die, and pray you God may save” (Chaucer 3280-3281), were the words that Nicholas said to Alison. Stunned by what was happening, Alison told him to stop and for him to get his hands off her body. Nicholas being the sweet talker that he is, kept hitting on her by singing and playing his guitar hoping that she would fall for him. After a while, Alison fell for his cunningness and desire for her that she wanted to explore her sexual desire for him as well. This could only be possible if they were both able to do it safely and not letting her husband or someone else know about the affair. Alison and Nicholas agreed, that if they do something it must stay between them. “That but ye wayte wel and been privee, ye moste been ful deerne, as in this cas” (Chaucer 3295-3297). Afraid that John would find out about their affair, Nicholas promised her that he could fool the old man with his cleverness. Once John is fooled, they would have the opportunity to be together and explore their sexual desire that he had for each other.
Even Absalom, the priest clerk in the town could not resist and fell for Alison’s beautiful look. Craved for his desire for her, he went to John’s house one night where he played his guitar and sang for Alison. The sound of his voice singing, awakened both John and Alison as they laid sleeping. Singing for her several times and having no luck with getting close to Alison, Absalom later became unhappy and neglected. Being annoyed by his various advancement upon her, Alison made him look like a fool that made everyone laughed at him. He had tried everything possible to get her attention, but nothing had worked because she only has desire for Nicholas.
On a different occasion when John was away for business, Alison and Nicholas agreed that they needed a plan that would fool him. If they were able to accomplish this, then this would afford them the opportunity for them to sleep with each other. The plan that they conspired together worked, making John believe that Nicholas went crazy from his dedicated time studying astrology. After hearing the news, john started praying and asking God to help the young man. Entering the room, John grabbed and shook Nicholas in hopes that he would come back to being himself. Nicholas playing his role to fool John, told him that he saw a vision where the entire world would be under water because of the rainstorm that is approaching. Thinking that the lives of Nicholas and Alison are in his hands, John went out to seek the things that were needed for them to survive the big flood. John believed that a flood would indeed come, but it was just a trick for Alison and Nicholas to be alone to make love to each other. Their wish came true and they both had fooled John. Later they fooled Absalom as he tried to get a kiss from Alison.
The Miller’s Tale was a story centered on lust, deceit and humor. This story by Geoffrey Chaucer was also based on the belief that a person should marry another person of their own age. There was an assumption that people of different age, will see life differently and desire different things. This was the case in The Miller’s Tale. John wanted to keep a close eye on Alison, but at the end she was still being an unfaithful wife by sleeping with Nicholas. This story is also about what a person wants but cannot have, even though they tried many things in order to get it. At the end John was fooled, and both Alison and Nicholas got what they wanted. Later John was seen as being crazy, and laughed at because of the flood story that he told everyone.