Comparing Chaucer and Wyatt

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Diagnosing and Dealing with Rejection (Comparing Wyatt’s “Whoso List to Hunt, and Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale) As long as there has been love, so too has there been rejection. Being rejected by a potential lover isn’t easily dealt with, and it isn’t easy to distinguish. Many times a person may pursue love from someone who does not wish to reciprocate it or cannot reciprocate due to social pressures, which can lead to despair, or even blindness to the rejection. These two ideas can be seen in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s “Whoso List to Hunt,” and the character Absolon in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale,” respectively. In “Whoso List to Hunt” the speaker finds himself chasing after a female deer that he cannot seem to catch, symbolizing a female lover that he cannot woo. He has a genuine desire for the lover, but also becomes baffled at the degree of difficulty it takes to catch her, which leads to him becoming jaded to the “hunt”. As much as the speaker wants to call off the hunt, he realizes that he does in fact love the woman; however, he warns other gentlemen that the chase for the woman is a futile one, and it is later revealed that the woman belongs to another man. The other man is a very important man, which we know because the woman has engraved around her neck “Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am, and wild for to hold, though tame I seem.” (Wyatt 14) As one can find through historical understanding, Caesar marked his hinds this way in an effort to keep them safe from hunters. According to Greenblatt and Abrams’ The Norton Anthology of English Literature – eighth edition, the common interpretation of the poem is that Sir Thomas Wyatt is referring to his love for Ann Boleyn, and the fact that Henry VIII becomes interested in her. Just as the speaker learns that he is chasing the deer in vain, Wyatt finds the same to be true with Ann Boleyn. Thus the rejection
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