The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale
The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Sex Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Thi clerk was cleped hende Ncholas. Of derne love he coude and of solas. (91-92)
One of Nicholas's many talents is conducting illicit love affairs. The word "solas" (solace) refers to the cure for love-sickness: sex. This way of talking about love and sex comes from the medieval courtly tradition in which young bachelors complained to their unobtainable lady-loves of horrible suffering, which could only be relieved by the woman's sexual favors.
For she was wilde and yong, and he was old And demed himself ben lyk a cokewold. (117-118)
John is terrified that Alisoun will cheat on him, thus making him into a "cokewold" (cuckold, a man cheated on by his wife). It was a common belief at this time that an older husband could not possibly keep up sexually with a young wife, and that therefore she would find her satisfaction elsewhere.
She was a prymerole, a piggesnye, For any lord to leggen in his bedde, Or yet for any good yeman to wedde. (165-167)
This is an example of "The Miller's Tale" as a parody of the romance genre, which praised women in much higher terms. The women in romance are worthy of the gods; Alisoun is worthy of being a lord's concubine.