Chaucer-Analysis of the Hilarity of "The Miller's Tale"

891 Words4 Pages
Hahaha! A Miller’s Sense of Humor “Some time ago there was a rich codger/Who lived in Oxford and took a lodger”. (Chaucer, pg 88). Even in the first lines of this tale, the reader finds something to laugh at. There are many representations of critical humor in “The Miller’s Tale”. To begin with, each character in “The Miller’s Tale” tend to have their own type of humor. Absalon, a character described to be the romantic character of the story, is given a very sarcastic tone throughout the entire tale. For instance, “What was the good? Were he bold as brass/She was in love with gallant Nicholas/However Absalon might blow his horn/His labour won him nothing but her scorn.” (Chaucer, pg 94). In most stories from the time era this tale took place during, such an appealing character would easily win over a lady’s hand. But all that happens to him is he gets scorned and ridiculed. This sarcastic humor is highly amusing to the reader. Chaucer may use this to prove, however, that charm and looks won’t get you everything you want in life. Another interesting type of humor Chaucer uses is his depiction of Alison as a victorious woman. In Chaucer’s time, it was very unusual for a woman to be cast in a positive light, yet in this tale, Alison is the one who wins above all others. The only bad thing that happens to her is that “Absalon kissed her nether eye” (Chaucer, pg 106), as opposed to “And so the carpenter’s wife was truly poked/As if his jealousy to justify/And Absalon has kissed her nether eye/And Nicholas is branded on the bum” (Chaucer, pg 106). John, Absalon, and Nicholas all received relatively strange and humiliating results, but Alison is depicted as the victor. I think Chaucer does this to show that life doesn’t always work out the way you expect it to, and if you don’t watch it, you may lose when you thought that you were going to win. Odd? Yes. But it is
Open Document