Chaucerotics pp 77-109 | Cite as

“Ther was the revel and the melodye”: The Playful Cloak of Language in The Miller’s Tale

  • Geoffrey W. Gust
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


This is the first of four chapters on the fabliaux in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Gust begins his examination of these tales by focusing on The Miller’s Tale, which he analyzes and presents as an initial test case for the possible meaning and implications of his theory of Chaucerotics. Through a careful close reading of the poem’s sexualized “cloak of language,” The Miller’s Tale is said to represent an explosively “anti-chivalric” story that challenges the courtesy and piety of the Knight, if not courtly society more broadly. As the second tale in the pilgrimage storytelling contest, The Miller’s Tale is shown to offer a playful erotic model against which subsequent sexual intrigues from The Canterbury Tales may be compared and assessed.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey W. Gust
    • 1
  1. 1.School of General StudiesStockton UniversityGallowayUSA

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