The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Lines 1-124 Summary
- See "The Miller's Prologue" in Shmoop's guide to The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story.
- 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.)
- 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.
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