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The portrait of Johns young wife occurs at an early stage in the Millers Tale This emphasises the importance of her character in the tale since she is described in much more detail than her husband From this description we see that she is a small town heroine whose brows are plucked and whose eye is lecherous whose forehead shines from washing after work Muscatine 229 The Millers Tale is a fabliau which parodies medieval society with the help of Alisons character True to its genre it is set in contemporary Oxford and is a reflection of life in the fourteenth century It is more concerned with cunning and folly as opposed to idealised love and virtue In this case it contains an element of parody in this tale parodies courtly love and it is also humorous Cooper 95 It consists of a sequence of amusing events which takes place between a woman Alison her husband and two other men hoping to become Alisons lovers The story line is simple a young student wants to seduce the wife of his landlord and he formulates a seemingly flawless plan to dispose of the husband and then sleep with her Meanwhile there is another young who believes himself to be in love with her who tries to win her affection A nasty trick is played on the latter and in the process of revenge he manages to wreck the plan the two lovers had made It would seem that Chaucers main aim in writing the Millers Tale is to parody courtly love This means that Chaucer mocks the idea of courtly love in an amusing manner and that he exploits its weaknesses such as the fact that it is often merely physical at the roots and that the chivalry present is often but an act McArthur 750 - 751 The theme of love does not play a large role in the tale but the lack of
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