| Quote #1
This parish clerk, this joly Absolon
In contrast to Nicholas, who gets an urge to "rage and pleye" with Alisoun (170), the story actually uses "love-longinge" to describe what Absolon feels for Alisoun. This raises the question of how the clerks' feelings for Alisoun differ. (Or do they?)
| Quote #2
For some folk wol ben wonnen for richesse,
With this, we have a neat summary of the three methods Alisoun's lovers employ. Alisoun has presumably married John because he can offer her security – the "richesse" of which these lines speak. Nicholas wins Alisoun with a physically aggressive approach akin to "strokes," whereas Absolon prefers the "gentillesse," or noble method, of constant romantic overtures.
| Quote #3
Ful sooth is this proverbe, it is no lye,
This suggestion that the person closest to the object of desire is always the one who obtains it suggests that love is more often a matter of convenience than fate or true affinity. It's yet one more cynical statement about love in a tale that tends to reduce love to sexual desire.