The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Plot Analysis by Paul Lim

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Storyboard for The Miller's Tale

Storyboard Text

  • Exposition
  • The Miller's Tale Fabliau
  • "This carpenter had married a new wife not long before, and love her more than life. She was a girl of eighteen years of age. Jealous he was and kept her in a cage, for he was old and she was wild and young"
  • Rising Action
  • "This Absalon, so jolly in his ways, would bear the censer round on holy days and cease the parish women. He would cast many a love-lorn look before he passed, especially at this carpenter's young wife; looking at her would make a happy life"
  • Rising Action
  • "'Rain is to fall in torrents, such a scud it will be twice as bad as Noah's Flood. This world,' he said, 'in just about an hour, shall all be drowned, it's such a hideous shower, and all mankind, with total loss of life.'"
  • Paul Lim Mrs. Philyaw HH: Period 4 13 December 2016
  • In England at the town of Oxford, an old, wealthy carpenter named John marries a young, beautiful woman named Alison, and takes in a handsome, charming student named Nicholas in his house as a tenant. John keeps his wife close to himself as he was jealous of any man that tries to woo her over. Soon, Nicholas and Alison begin an affair while John was away.
  • Climax
  • A parish clerk, Absalon, falls in love with Alison and stands under the bedroom window at the carpenter's house where he sings a love song that he composed by himself with his guitar in order to gain her love. However, he miserably fails as Alison completely ignores him since her eyes are only on Nicholas.
  • Falling Action
  • While John was away at Osney for the day, Nicholas and Alison devise a plan so that they can be together. As a plan, Nicholas stays in his room for the entire day without making a noise. When John returns from Osney and begins to worry, he goes into Nicholas's room to find out that the world is going to end due to a great flood, as Nicholas explains from his "trance". Nicholas reveals that the only way to survive is to take refuge in a barrel and float on water, and John believes him.
  • Resolution
  • "For when he spoke he was at once borne down by Nicholas and his wife. They told the town that he was mad, there'd got into his blood some sort of nonsense about 'Nowel's Flood'"
  • When nightfall strikes, John, Nicholas, and Alison climb into the 3 barrels hanging from the rafters following the plan. John soon falls asleep inside his barrel, and Nicholas and Alison climb out of the barrels to have romance in Alison's chamber. Also, Absalon plans to ensure Alison's love that night since he suspects that John is not home.
  • "With one ear cocked, however, for the rain. The carpenter, with all the work he'd seen, fell dead asleep - round curfew, must have been, maybe a little later on the whole."
  • Absalon, in search of a kiss by Alison, goes to the carpenter's home. Instead, Alison sticks out her bottom for him to kiss and Absalon, unknowingly so, kisses her naked bottom. Absalon then in anger retrieves a branding iron from the local blacksmith and brands Nicholas's bottom when he sticks out his bottom for Absalon to kiss. Hearing Nicholas's cry for help, John cuts the rope attached to the rafters and falls down breaking his barrel into pieces.
  • "But his hot iron was ready; with a thump he smote him in the middle of the rump. Off went the skin a hand's breadth round about where the hot coulter struck and burnt it out."
  • Nicholas and Alison cry for murder to get the neighbors to crowd around John, who was in shock as he lay down on the floor with the wooden remains of his barrel. Nicholas and Alison then accuse John for claiming that the world is going to end, and the neighbors believe that John has gone crazy and arrests him.
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