The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale
The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
Advertisement
group rates for schools and districts
ADVERTISEMENT

The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Foolishness and Folly Quotes Page 2

Page (2 of 3) Quotes:   1    2    3  
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Line). We used the line numbering found on Librarius's online edition.
Quote #4

And thus she maketh Absolon hire ape,
And al his ernest turneth til a jape
.
(286-287)

Is it really Alisoun who makes Absolon appear foolish? Or is it his own refusal to give up the courtship in the face of continued rejection? There is a way in which Alisoun turns Absolon's earnestness into a joke, in her refusal to take it seriously herself.

Quote #5

. . . Nicholas shal shapen him a whyle
This sely jalous housbond to bigyle
.
(300-301)

"Sely" means stupid, but it also means innocent and harmless, the implication being that the innocent lack guile. It's a perfect word to describe John, whose "sely"-ness derives from a somewhat innocent nature that fails to see the treachery in others.

Quote #6

Ye, blessed be alwey a lewed man
That noght but only his bileeve can!

(352-353)

John's defense of the "lewed" or "unlearned" is rendered foolish by the ease with which he is duped by Nicholas only a few lines later. If John had probed further into Nicholas's story, perhaps he would not have been so easily tricked.

Next Page: More Foolishness and Folly Quotes (3 of 3)
Previous Page: Foolishness and Folly Quotes (1 of 3)

Need help with College?