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.