Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Lines 493-548

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 493-548

Lines 493-529

  • John leaves the room in a sorry state.
  • He explains the situation to Alisoun, who pretends to believe him and tells him to go ahead quickly in order to save their lives.
  • The narrator comments upon how great a thing imagination is: so deep can an impression (or imagining) be that men can die of it.
  • John imagines that he can see the flood drowning Alisoun, which makes him weep.
  • John gets three tubs and hangs them from the rafters of his house, then places ladders next to each one.
  • He places bread, cheese and ale in each tub and sends his servants off to London.
  • John, Nicholas, and Alisoun climb into the tubs.

Lines 530-548

  • Nicholas tells everyone to be quiet.
  • John sits very still in his tub, saying prayers and waiting for the rain.
  • John falls asleep and begins to snore.
  • Nicholas and Alisoun climb down from their tubs and go to bed together.
  • They have sex in John's bed until almost dawn.