The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The Hot Poker
In a story that's all about sex, it's not too much of a stretch to say the hot poker with which Absolon brands Nicholas's butt is a phallic object, a symbol of a penis. It's even less of a stretch...
Kneading Trough, Tub, and Kimelin
"The Miller's Tale" is very specific about the tubs that John obtains for Alisoun, Nicholas, and himself to sleep in. It tells us John "gooth and geteth hym a knedyng-trogh / And after that a tubbe...
Alisoun's character is the one most often described in animal terms. For more about this imagery and what it suggests about Alisoun's character, see "Characterization."
Allegory: The Fall of Man
We mention in the "Characters" section that Nicholas is a kind of godlike figure in the story. When Absolon declares "my soule bitake I unto Sathanas" after he accidentally kisses Allison's butt (6...