What is Chaucer trying to say about marriage in "The Miller's Tale"?

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"The Miller's Tale" is a wonderfully bawdy comic creation, featuring naked bottoms, wind breaking, and an adulterous liaison. It also provides another take on the subject of marriage extensively dealt with elsewhere by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales. But the vision of married love set out here is far removed from the more elevated, romantic notion shared by the Wife of Bath.

John the carpenter seems to have done rather well for himself. As well as having a nice house and all the other trappings of wealth, he has a young, attractive wife named Alisoun. In recounting his tale the miller tells us that John loves Alisoun more than his life. But only a couple of lines later, he goes on to says John is jealous of her and keeps her "in a cage." He does not mean this literally, of course, but the implication is clear. John may say he loves Alisoun but we get the impression that she is nothing more than a trophy wife to him.

"The Miller's Tale" demonstrates the belief that the main problem...

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