The Miller's Tale Questions and Answers
by Geoffrey Chaucer

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In "The Miller's Tale" by Geoffrey Chaucer, is Alison blamed for her role in the deception of John, or for her behavior toward Absalon? Who or what (if anyone or anything) is being criticized?

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Alison is the only female figure in "The Miller's Tale" by Geoffrey Chaucer, and she is surrounded by three male characters.  

John is Alison's husband. He is a carpenter and a rather naive, gullible man, which he demonstrates in nearly every encounter he has with anyone in this story. His worst transgression, at least as far as his eighteen-year-old wife is concerned, is that he is an old man. 

...he had fears

Of being a cuckold, so advanced in years.

He is jealous of his wife, and for good reason. She is an earthy, sexual creature who always seems to be looking for her next conquest.

Nicholas the Handy is a match for Alison, a sexual being who goes after whatever he wants; in fact, he crudely grabs Alison when he sees her for the first time. He wants her, and he contrives to have her.

Poor Absalon is just a foolish, rather prissy young man who claims to be in love with Alison. All he hopes for is a chance to get near Alison, even serenading her under the very window where she and her...

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