The Miller's Tale Questions and Answers
by Geoffrey Chaucer

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What are the main sources of humour in this story?  

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The sources of humor in "The Miller's Tale" are bawdy, farcical, borderline scatological, and slapstick. 

We remember that the Miller has been drinking and that this colors his tale. His story displays bawdy humor because it deals with sex and nudity in a comic way. Alison and Nicholas trick Alison's elderly husband, John the carpenter, so that they can sleep together. It's farcical because it deals with over-the-top situations: how many men, like the carpenter, are really going to be convinced to spend the night dangling in a tub because they believe someone's prediction that the earth is about to be flooded again, as in Noah's day? While scatological humor deals with feces, we come very close with farts and anuses, as Absolon, Alison's would-be lover,...

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