Explore the Way in Which Chaucer Reflects the Society He Was Living in Within the Miller’s Prologue and Tale Essay

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Explore the way in which Chaucer reflects the society he was living in within the Miller’s prologue and tale Chaucer reflects 14th century society throughout the Millers prologue and tale through his representation of gender roles, societal values and norms, religion and provincial life in Oxford, which are key aspects, explored throughout. Chaucer reflects the society he was living in within the miller’s prologue and tale through Provincial life in Oxford, which is reflected through the character of John. John’s wealth is indicated through the description of his house, which is said to have a “windowe”. This was unlikely for many people living in provincial areas and towns since windows were merely holes in the walls as glass was expensive. Although, Chaucer did not reside in a provincial area, instead experiencing courtly life, he is thought to have travelled around much of England and Europe therefore providing a reason for why he wants to give an image of Oxford. In addition through Chaucer’s authentic and physical description of Oxford, we gain an insight into life experienced by the characters, which adds further to the realistic tone and realism of the fabliaux. The very first description the reader is given is that of a gallant student named Nicholas who attends “oxenforde” university and is taken in by a rich old carpenter. The main purpose of Oxford University was for students to take courses in theology and ultimately become doctors of divinity. However this is ironic as although Nicholas studies theology, he is up to no good in his room and appears to be more interested in “astrelabie” and playing musical instruments “ he mad a nights melodie”. The reflection of Nicholas could be used as Chaucer’s way of representing working men’s attitudes towards men who dedicate themselves to a life of study, rather than earning an income like the miller who

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