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What does the Miller in "The Canterbury Tales" do?

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Quick Answer

In Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," the Miller is a wrestling champion that can break doors open with his head. His image is one of a lower-class individual of the medieval times that likens to the "all brawn and no brains" stereotype.

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Full Answer

The Miller is an extremely physical man, and this is associated with an equally intense lust. He is traveling with other pilgrims on a journey to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury. The Miller's Tale is one of over 20 tales written by Chaucer near the end of the 14th century. The Miller tells a comic story about how a carpenter's wife cheats on him.

While the tale establishes the Miller's lewd disposition, it is comical and clever. The Miller is drinking while he is on the journey, and by the time he begins his tale he is drunk and not minding his manners. He demonstrates his character when he interrupts the Priest, telling him and the others that he is going to counter the Knight's tale. The two tales are quite opposite from one another, as the Knight's tale is one of courtly love, whereas the Miller's tale is about infidelity. The difference between the tales reflects the difference between the Miller and the Knight.

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