Friday, July 19, 2019

What impression of the Miller does Chaucer create in the portrait? Essa

What impression of the Miller does Chaucer create in the portrait? Extracted from the general prologue, the portrait of the Miller begins by explaining his physical appearance. His physique is said to be ’ful big of brawn and eek of bones’ indicating he was stocky, big boned and had large muscles. He was also ‘short-sholdred’ meaning broad. This suggests he could be quite threatening to look at. The Miller had a red beard as wide as a spade, a hairy wart on the top right of his nose, wide black nostrils and a huge mouth as great as a furnace. Chaucer creates a very clear image in our minds of the Miller and the impression given through his physical description suggests he is rather ugly. In the period of the 14th Century when Chaucer wrote the Canterbury tales, it was considered that you could tell a persons character from their appearance, be it good or bad. Chaucer portrays the Miller as physically repulsive which implies he is an immoral and bad character. His image could reflect his personality. In the case of the miller this is so. It is explained that the Miller participated in a popular sport of the time, wrestling. It is further explained that he always won the ram (the prize given). Chaucer continues to give the impression that the Miller was strong and to a certain extent should be feared. It also says that he carried with him a ‘swerd and bokeler’ (sword and shield) by his side, further suggesting he was always fighting. In mirroring his bad physical appearance, there is a suggestion that the Miller could have been a thief. ‘Ther was no dore that he nolde heve of harre’ says that there was no door he would not have off its hinges. This implies that the Miller wondered the town banging down d... ...he Miller as the devil to represent that he really was an evil character is only some peoples perception. Others interpret this reference to have a comic element and to be used for the purpose of taking-the-mick. In the 14th Century the general opinion of the Miller was low and he was a disliked man. This was because it was known that he over-priced for his skills and ripped off his customers by taking too much of their grain as a charge. It is therefore some peoples belief that Chaucer is simply comparing the Miller to the devil as a joke and to amuse those who disliked the man to simply make the book popular. Whether Chaucer meant to make this reference as comical or to suggest the Miller was the devil incarnate, the same impression is given. In the portrait of the Miller Chaucer gives the impression that he is ugly, loud, rough and of an evil manner.

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