The Canterbury Tales Essay

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In the following essay, Rowland explores connections to the Mystery plays in "The Miller's Tale."

The last line of the Miller's "Prologue" has been variously interpreted as indicative of Chaucer's aesthetic intentions both in the tale itself and in his works as a whole. In it, the narrator, after warning his readers of the kind of tale to follow and disclaiming responsibility should any of them subsequently "chese amys," adds a final rider: "and eek men shal nat maken ernest of game." The phrase itself is sufficiently commonplace to be classified as proverbial, and variations of it occur four times elsewhere in the Tales: January finally settles on one delectable young girl as his bride "bitwixe ernest and game"; Griselda, bereft of her daughter, never mentions her name either "in ernest nor in game," and Walter, despite the murmurs of his subjects, continues to try his wife "for...

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This section contains 1,933 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Canterbury Tales Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Canterbury Tales from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.