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The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

Alisoun Timeline and Summary

  • Alisoun is the third character the narrator describes in "The Miller's Tale." We learn that she is John's much younger wife, and that she's a local beauty.
  • One day, when John has gone away, Nicholas propositions Alisoun. After a brief protest, she accepts, and the two begin an affair.
  • A short time later, Absalom notices Alisoun in the parish church and falls in love with her.
  • Alisoun rejects all of Absolon's attempts to woo her.
  • Alisoun agrees to go along with Nicholas's plan to trick John.
  • When John tells Alisoun about Nicholas's prophecy, she encourages him to make the preparations Nicholas has advised.
  • While her husband is hanging from the rafters of their house, Alisoun has sex with Nicholas in her marital bed.
  • When Absalom appears that night at her window, shortly before dawn, and asks for a kiss, Alisoun humiliates him by presenting her buttocks instead of her lips, causing him to kiss her "hole."
  • Alisoun joins Nicholas in running around the street in a panic when John has fallen from the rafters.
  • With Nicholas, she convinces the townspeople that gather around the scene that John is an idiot.