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Sexual And Bodily Subjects In The Miller's Tale By Geoffrey Chaucer

594 words - 2 pages

"The Miller's Tale," a short story by Geoffrey Chaucer, deals frankly with sexual and bodily subjects. Chaucer is never obscene, he allows the reader to use his imagination to determine what some of the events actually mean. The tale is a "fabliau," which is a short story in verse that deals satiracally and humorously about sexual or monetary deception.
When Chaucer describes the characters, he creates a unique theme for each person that helps the reader determine their role in the story. For example, he describes Alisoun as being a young, playful, and attractive girl that enjoys showing off what she has.

"And by hir girdle heenu a purs of lether
Tasseled with silk and perled with latoun."

These two lines let us know something about her sexual side. The purse is a symbol of a woman's anatomy. Alisoun's purse is covered in silk and other trinkets which leads the reader to believe that she wants attention and would be willing if the right man came around. Another passage describes an interaction between Nicholas and Alisoun.

"Fil with this yonge wif to rage and playe,
Whil that hir housbonde was at Oseneye
(As clerkes been ful subtil and ful quainte),
And prively he caughte hire by the queinte,"

So, Nicholas just walks up and catches Alisoun by her queinte, which is where we get the word "cunt" from. If that happened now, he would be thrown in jail for sexual assault, but Chacuer writes it so nicely that we don't see the action for what it really is. The reader can see that Nicholas is a very direct person and is not worried about the courtly love ideal that most men of that...

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