Literary Analysis of “the Millers Tale”

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In Geoffrey Chaucer (1345-1400) “The Millers Tale”, Chaucer’s poetic yet frivolous language describes a society heavily influenced by the Catholic Church. The social convention in the late 1300’s revolved around the Catholic Church and communities subject to worshiping God and attending church. In “The Millers Tale”, the characters represent some form of back lash, rebellion, and question of authority against the Catholic Church, demonstrating some form of fabrication to the church’s idea of being this “well-behaved” or “perfect” institution. Throughout the story, Chaucer makes a mockery of the stereotypical idea that the catholic religion is always right by exposing the church as a form of corrupt propaganda to the public. As a result, Chaucer believes the Catholic Church is a corrupt, immoral organization, and has a negative impact on society. Before the story is told, the reader comes across a prologue. The reader stumbles upon the first challenge on authority against those of higher status. It also sets up the central theme of the story. A drunken man of lower class interrupts a knight from telling a story. Despite the Miller being intoxicated, he still knows he is in the presence of the public and therefore says “if you are offended please don’t fret…don’t blame me if the choice you make is wrong” (Chaucer 2). He pleads to the public that his intentions are not to offend anyone but to entertain with a story. In “The Millers Tale” Nicholas is a student studying astrology and rents a room from a carpenter. Chaucer doesn’t necessarily describe his physical appearance but does take the time to describe his room, stating “around this room one’s eye in wonder roams and sees on shelves his Ptolomaic tomes” (Chaucer 3). The Ptolomaic models in Nicholas’ room shows how the Catholic Church had an impact on students, scholars, and society itself. The Ptolomaic models are part of the geocentric theory that states the earth was at the center of the Universe and...
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