"The Cantenbury Tales" by Geoffery Chaucer : Analysis of Nicholas from Miller's Tale

Essay by IllonaLevina February 2007

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"The Canterbury Tales" written by Geoffrey Chaucer speaks of a group of pilgrims traveling together to reach Canterbury, England. This group contains the members of each social standing in England at the time. To entertain themselves on the long ride to Canterbury each person decides to tell a tale. Each tale reflects the storytellers background and way's of life. The characters mirror the tellers peer and their actions. One of the group members was a Miller. He was a drunken, crude common man with a story to tell about a pair of lovers and their adventure. The main character Nicholas is a imitation of the clever rouge who prevails through the use of sharp wit and a conceited nature.

Nicholas is a poor scholar studying at oxford. While boarding at a carpenters home he falls in love with the elderly carpenters young wife Alison. Acting accordingly to his nature of a rouge Nicholas peruses her.

He devises a crafty plan to trick John so that he and Alison can spend of a day of privacy together. He tricks her husband into thinking that another Noah's flood is coming, and makes him hide in a tub that is nailed above the house for the time that the flood comes. The husband does this, and Nicholas and the wife are able to make love all evening.

These actions demonstrate Nicholas as the perfect example of a rouge which by definition means a nice and pleasant man with a hint of a sly nature. At first it seems that his intentions to warn John of the upcoming flood are caring and sincere. But, it is quickly obvious that this fictitious lie is only the spring of Nicholas rouge character. His ability to convince John that his tale is legitimate demonstrate his creativity...