The Canterbury Tales


The Miller

The Miller stands out from the other pilgrims for several reasons. First, he is a very large man, but his size is not due simply to fat; instead, he is strong and muscular. He is unattractive to look at, as he has a large wart at the tip of his nose. His behavior is vulgar and uncouth, so that he exemplifies the worst things believed of the lower class. Moreover, while the other pilgrims are, at least ostensibly, going to Canterbury for religious purposes, the Miller does not claim to have that same divine inspiration. Instead, he seems to be seeking one of the cures that was said to be available in Canterbury during that time. However, the Miller’s commonplace appearance and demeanor contrast with his sharp wit. He tells a very humorous story that demonstrates his mastery of comic timing and setting. By making a carpenter the buffoon in his story, the Miller reveals some animosity toward either carpenters in general, or even a personal problem with the Reeve, who was previously a carpenter.

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Essays About The Canterbury Tales