Satire In The Miller's Tale By Chaucer

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The topic of laughter has been under academic scrutiny for centuries. As John Morreall once said: “There has never been a time in Western history that humour and laughter were not topics of intellectual debate and interest.” This is undeniably a true statement, for the literature of laughter has taken many forms throughout time. However, this is not to suggest that a comedy written within a particular time period is prone to being construed as devoid of relatable humour or wit by subsequent time periods, but more to suggest that a social, political, or linguistic parody or satire set in its contemporary era is far more likely to resonate with its intended audience rather than its successors. It is fair to conclude that an 18th century literary piece of satire written for the sole intention to ridicule the aristocratic affiliates of the British Empire, for example, is likely to amuse its intended audiences far more than it would a 21st…show more content…
With its clever and often surreptitious usage of puns, ironic incidences, and deviation from what on the surface appears to be a tale of tragic circumstances, The Miller’s Tale arguably encapsulates the standard of comedy which we are familiar with today. Chaucer’s use of humour is in abundance, depicting each of the three characters with their own idiosyncratic deplorability: John, the oafish carpenter, husband of the young and beautiful Alisoun who makes him a cuckold by gallivanting with Nicholas, the young scholar studying astrology who uses his knowledge by tricking John into believing that a flood is about to occur. And Absolon, a lovelorn young parish clerk who seeks Alisoun, only to be ridiculed by her and Nicholas, which could be construed as Chaucer satirising courtly

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