We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Lines 1-124 Summary

Lines 1-78

  • See "The Miller's Prologue" in Shmoop's guide to The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story.

Lines 79-112

  • A rich carpenter named John lives in Oxford and takes lodgers into his home.
  • A poor but clever scholar named Nicholas boards with him.
  • The narrator gives us an extensive description of Nicholas's character. (For more on this portrait, see the "Character Analysis" section.)

Lines 113-124

  • John has married an eighteen-year-old woman named Alisoun.
  • He is apparently jealous about her, and keeps her on a tight leash.
  • The reason he is so jealous is that Alisoun is much younger than him, and he fears being made a "cuckold" by Alisoun cheating on him.
  • John has never read the proverb by the ancient Greek philosopher Cato, which says that men should marry a woman similar to them in situation and age because youth and the elderly don't mix well.
  • Since he has already married Alisoun, though, John must endure his situation.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...