The Miller's Tale The miller's tale takes place in Oxford. The story starts with an old carpenter that marries a young woman named Alison. Alison was a beautiful woman, and many men desired her. The Miller remarks that Aklison would be acceptable as a yeoman's wife, but she could also be the lowly mistress of a lord. Two of her suitors were Nicholas and Absalon. Nicholas was a young student that lived in the codger's home. Absalon was a clerk that served the church. At the beginning of the story Nicolas is successful in his pursuit, and he and Alison become lovers. Later on Absalon trays to curt her but she rejects him. Alison and Nicolas come up with a plan to get rid of the Old jealous carpenter.
One day Nicolas tales the carpenter that according to his astrology and looking at the moon, he discovered that in couple of days a flood will come.
The flood will be worst than Noah's flood. Nicolas tales the carpenter to get three tubs, for him his wife and Nicolas, place them on the roof and stay there till the flood comes and when the rain starts, to call them to join him. The frightened carpenter prepares everything for the coming flood and falls asleep in one of the tubs. On that night the two lovers get together and stay in the bedroom.
During the night Absalon comes under the bedroom window and begs her to give him a kiss. Instead of kiss, Alison gives him a fart. Absalon, mad and in rage, goes to the blacksmith takes a coulter and goes back to Alison. Again he calls her to give him a kiss, but this time Nicolas exposes his ass and farts. In return Absalon stabs the exposed buttocks with the hot coulter. Nicolas in agonizing pain screams "water water", which wakes the old carpenter who thinks the flood, is coming. The carpenter half-asleep and all frightened cuts the ropes that hold the tub on the roof and falls to the street. The entire town came to see what happened, they laughed at the site and declared John had gone mad. The character of Nicholas also reinforces the best viewpoint. He is the one educated character, and it is his intelligence and scholarship that give him the advantage over the uneducated ruffian that is the carpenter.
The Merchant's Tale The Merchant's tale is a story about an old respectable knight that reaches his sixtieth birthday. On his birthday the knight decides that he wants to get married since he was never married and he has no family or an heir to his possessions. After a short search for a wife, he finds a young virgin woman whose name is May and marries her.
During the wedding the knight squire called Damian falls in love with the bride. Later on May discovers that Damian is in love with her and she falls in love with him. Since the old knight is very suspicious and jealous of May and Damian, they show their love to each other only in letters.
The knight has a grand garden to which only he has a key for and only him and May go there for the purpose of lovemaking. Some time later the Knight becomes blind, because of fear and jealousy he tells May she has to be with him day and night, and if she wants to go somewhere, he has to be there with her holding her hand. May steals the key to the garden makes a copy and gives it to Damian. One day the blind knight wants to make love in the garden. Taking advantage of the moment, May signals Damian to go to the garden and wait. May and the knight go to the garden, she takes him to a peach tree, where Damian is hiding on one of the branches.
Once they are done making love, May tells the Knight she wants to climb up and pick a peach. The knight helps her to climb up, into the arms of Damian and up on the tree, were the two start making love. Pluto, the king of fairies, witnesses this injustice and he restores the knight's vision. The knight catches the two in action. Immediately Damian disappears and May convinces the old gullible knight that his eyes deceived him, and he falls for her story.
The Wife of Bath's Tale In the Wife of Bath Tale, the Wife of Bath talks about a knight who rapes a lady. His punishment for such brutal act is to be killed, but the king gives the queen the freedom to do with the knight, as she desires. The queen offers to pardon the knight with the condition that within one year he should find the answer as to what is the thing that women most desire.
The knight asked women from every country but none offered him the right answer. At the end of the year, he was on his way back to the queen, disillusioned because he had been unsuccessful in finding the answer. On his return, he came upon this old lady who, in return for some future favor, told the knight that she had the answer. The knight agreed and when asked by the queen what his answer was, he responded that what women most wanted was to have sovereignty over men. All women agreed and he was pardoned.
The old lady, in return for saving his life, demanded that the knight marry her. At first he refused, but he was forced to marry her since he had promised to do what she said. During their wedding night, the knight refused to get intimate with her because of her ugliness and foul race. Observing how cold the knight was toward her, she responded by asking what he preferred: to have an old, ugly, but true and faithful wife, or a fair and beautiful wife that would not be faithful. The knight gave her the option, or freedom, to choose which ever she wanted. By having the power to choose, his wife gained the sovereignty over him, which was indeed the answer that had saved him. She was glad to have such power and responded by being both beautiful and faithful.
And, as a result the tale ends with the knight and his wife happily married. With the lesson being that if women have mastery over men, they will make wise decisions.
The Knight's Tale Two friends, Palamon and Arcita, are captured in battle by a duke named Theseus. They languish in prison together for a while, until they notice the sister of the queen, Emelye. They are both consumed with love for her, and vow to do anything to win her favor.
Arcita has the good luck to find favor with a friend of the duke, and so he is released, but exiled from the country. Arcita becomes lovesick in his native country, since he can never see Emelye again, and as a result, his appearance and voice change so much that he is able to return to Theseus' country in disguise as a servant, and he uses the name Philostrate. He gains favor with the duke and is made a trusted assistant.
Palamon, meanwhile, has stayed in prison for the years Arcita has been free. Palamon decides to escape, and while hiding, he comes upon Arcita, and learns of his double life. The former friends argue until Emelye and Theseus see them. Theseus decides that each man will have a year to assemble an army, and then their two armies will fight, and the winner will get to marry Emelye.
Arcita and Palamon both pray to the gods. The gods decide to favor Arcita with glory, but Palamon with eventual victory. Arcita wins the battle, but he is wounded after his victory and dies several days later. His last wish is to see that Palamon can marry Emelye. Palamon and Emelye marry, and they live a happy life.
The Knight's Tale resolves all of the conflicts between both mortals and gods. Both Palamon and Arcite receive that for which they prayed before the battle: Arcite wins the battle, but Palamon wins the wife. Only Emelye does not receive that wich she truly desired, for Theseus orders that she be married, despite her intent to remain a maiden.