Examples Of Courtly Love In The Miller's Tale

826 Words4 Pages
Lili Kleinberg The Miller’s Tale Absalon (wishes he) Got Screwed The Miller’s tale is a humorous story of jealousy, desire, wit, and sex. Chaucer does a brilliant job of satirizing the popular “courtly love” trope of his time. The classic love story would begin with secret admirations from afar, stealing glances here and there at the object of their affections. The man would then begin to woo, using song, poetry, or art in order to win the love of their heart’s desire. The maiden would politely, but firmly, decline in order to remain virtuous. After performing some brave and honorable act, the gentleman would eventually win over the apple of his eye, and they would become either public or secret lovers. The Miller’s tale, however, takes this…show more content…
He is dubbed so due to his special talent of “making love in secret”(). Alison, the carpenter’s young, beautiful wife, catches his fancy almost immediately. He declares that she must “love him [me] all at once or he [I] shall die”(), which fits perfectly the description of a lovesick man in courtly love declaring his passion. What happens he does, however is much more untraditional. He then “made a grab and caught her by the quim”(), which was considered neither subtle nor gentlemanly in those times or even now. While at first, the fair Alison declines virtuously (as was expected of her); it does not take long for Nicholas to get his way with her. She is almost immediately smitten, and swears her love for him. Alison, however, also has a (not so) secret admirer, Absalon, who is a parish clerk. He takes the “proper” steps of courtly love, including his “many a love-lorn look”() sent her way, and attempts to woo her with songs of love. He sends “sweet wine and mead and spicy ale, /And wafers piping hot and jars of honey, /And, as she lived in town, he offered money.” According to the traditional stages of courtly love, this is exactly what it takes to “get the girl.” Alison, however, is not interested in the slightest. She says to him, “You go away… You Tomfool! / There’s no come-up-and-kiss-me-here for you. I love another and why shouldn’t I too?”

More about Examples Of Courtly Love In The Miller's Tale

Open Document