| Quote #7
They tolden every man that he was wood,
"Vanitee" here means not pride in one's appearance, but something closer to "vain illusion." This is not the first time that John has been the victim of fantasy; earlier in the tale it is the vision of Alisoun's drowning that prompts him to procure the three tubs so hastily. John's particular brand of foolishness seems to grow out of an overactive imagination.
| Quote #8
For what so that this carpenter answerde,
The sad thing about this passage is that it suggests that John is reasonable; it's just that nobody hears his reason. It suggests that madness may really just be an inability to get people to listen to and understand you.