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Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Knight’s Tale” and “Miller Tale” are known as the two well-known Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer. These particular tales can be characterized as classic examples of the pilgrim tales that explain the journey of the Canterbury. The particular influence of Chaucer can be a witness in the case of both stories. Both tales have similar features of the particular conventions of the time, which provide a specific form of connection to the reader. It is notable to mention that both the tales of “The Knight’s Tale” and “Miller Tale” come up with many similar elements. Here, the focus is to provide the necessary evidence from both tales to determine the comparison in the case of courtly love.

The particular element of romance can be characterized as the mirror of both tales. The author uses particular aspects to focus on the element of a pervert in the stories. Undoubtedly, tales are the specific representation of the undermining of moral characteristics. Miller’s role in the tale is to effectively consider the different situations and sentiments in a detailed manner. On the other hand, “The Knight’s Tale” is a representation of similar elements that refer to imitation. The specific genre of medieval romance is used by the Chaucer to explain the approach of romance in the tale. A similar feature that can be identified in both tales is the facet of courtship romance.

The feature of medieval chivalry is defined in The Knight’s Tale with the consideration of the particular rule to follow. There is an indication of the moral foundations in the case of courtly love or romance. This particular facet of love is defined in the story through the character of the Knight who feels love for a woman with a noble heritage. It explains the difference between the social class of the knight and the particular woman. The difference in social class was considered an effective form of ritualistic admiration for the particular woman who has the characteristic of high birth. Mostly, this specific feature is not concerned with the features of marriage or sex. The aspect of love and romance in “The Knight Tale” can be explained with the help of the following words: “Love is a greater law, aye by my pan, than man has ever given to earthly man.  And therefore statute law and such decrees are broken daily and in all degree. A man must need love, maugre his head.” (Chaucer and Ruggiers, 1165). These particular lines of the tale explain the irony of the love when the two knights strike into the romance and affection for the Emelye. It becomes the prospect of conflict, which can be defined in the case of three characters related to courtly love. On the other hand, the feature of courtly love or romance in the case of Miller’s Tale is described as the significant element of rejection. The feature of romance in the story of Miller’s Tale is used as the form of ridiculous reality which undermines the feature of the morality of love. The features of love, romance, and marriage are described with the different moral upheavals. The wife of the carpenter is one of the exemplary characters in the tale, which depicts the feature of unfaithfulness for her husband, who is older than her. The described form of love in Miller’s Tale is unfaithful, immoral, and forbidden, which can be easily assessed in the case of the carpenter’s wife. She uses different means to cheat on her husband and meet her lustful needs.

The prospect of love in the case of “The Miller’s Tale” is described as the ridicule form that never meets societal moral standards. The story negates the traditional form of love and describes it as the feature of lust and body needs. It is crucial to understand that Canterbury Tales are known as the depiction of the different forms of lovers and lovers, which appear with the standard of courtly love. The feature of courtly romance is presented by the facet of ancestors. The important aspect that contrasts the Knight’s Tale and Miller’s Tale can be classified as the implementation of courtly love. The specific form of courtly love that prevails in the case of Miller’s Tale can be characterized as Chaucer’s fabliaux work because it comes with the natural feature of love. People love each other just to fulfill their sexual body needs. The particular concept of courtly love in Miller’s Tale can be apprehended with the following words: “And eke morality and holiness. Blameth, not me if that you choose amiss. The Miller is a churl; you know well this. So were the Reeve eke and others mo’ and harlotry they told both two.” (Chaucer and Ruggiers, 3180).

Undoubtedly, Miller’s tale represents the lusty and immortal elements in the form of love and romance. These particular features are expressed in the story in the form of different characters. Different characters in this particular tale have more depth as compared to the presenting characters in the Knight’s Tale. Marriage is not considered the necessary placement feature in the case of courtly love. The aspect of adultery is considered in the particular tale of Miller’s in the name of love and romance. Characters of the tale seem unable to place the courtly love beyond the sexual needs. Miller’s tale apprehends the idea of immoral sexual desires in the case of characters who fall in love with the wife of the carpenter. Although it is the traditional facet of courtly love, they adopt the feature of their sexual needs. They steal the attention of someone else’s wife, and it is considered immoral to get involved with a married woman. Meanwhile, the Knight’s Tale expresses the aspect of courtly love differently. Both the characters discuss the tale of Arcite and Palamon having a noble status in society. They are portrayed as the hero figures for their people. The author develops these characters to describe the feature of perfection in the case of humans. They understand and value the actual facet of Courtney Love. The character of Artice goes through extreme emotional suffering due to his love for Emelye as he cannot access her. This particular feature of sacrifice makes him noble, and he fulfills the traditional role of courtly love.

Miller’s Tale also provides the necessary indications about the position of women in society. The immoral form of love or romance also indicates the poor position of women. The female character is portrayed as just the object in the story. Women are not described as having a noble position in society. This particular feature of ineffective and immoral woman position in society is discussed by Gillman which apprehends the specific idea as: “I did write for a while in spite of them, but it DOES exhaust me a good deal having to be so sly about it or else meet with heavy opposition.” (Gilman, 5). This particular feature provides the harsh realities related to women’s role in society and how they are just considered objects to meet their sexual needs in the name of Courtney Love.

Work Cited

Chaucer, G., and P. G. Ruggiers. The Canterbury Tales: A Facsimile and Transcription of the Hengwrt Manuscript with Variants from the Ellesmere Manuscript. University of Oklahoma Press, 1979,

Gilman, C. P. The Yellow Wallpaper. Floating Press, 2009,



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