Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Lines 631-707

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Lines 631-707

Lines 631-686

  • Absolon hears Nicholas and declares his intention to get revenge on Alisoun.
  • He washes his lips vigorously with sand, straw, and wood chips, so disgusted is he by what he has just done.
  • From that moment on, he is healed of his love-sickness.
  • He goes across the street to the blacksmith's shop and knocks loudly on the door.
  • The blacksmith answers the door and wonders what Absolon is doing awake so early, speculating that it must be because of a girl.
  • Absolon asks to borrow a hot poker from the blacksmith.
  • The blacksmith agrees but asks him what he intends to do with it.
  • Absolon says he will tell him tomorrow.
  • Absolon takes the poker to the carpenter's house and knocks on Alisoun's window.

Lines 682-697

  • Alisoun asks who's there, thinking it's a thief.
  • Absolon answers that it's him and tells Alisoun he's brought her a gold ring, which he will trade her for a kiss.
  • Nicholas has gotten up to go pee and decides he wants in on Alisoun's joke.
  • He sticks his butt out the window.
  • Absolon tells 'Alisoun' to speak so he can figure out where she is.

Lines 698-707

  • Nicholas farts in Absolon's face so percussively that Absolon is nearly blinded by the force of it.
  • Absolon brands Nicholas with the hot iron.
  • In great pain, Nicholas cries out for water.