Student Question

What comparisons can be made between the Miller from "The Miller's Tale" and Mak from "The Second Shepherd's Play"?

Expert Answers

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Both men are part of the working class. Mak steals sheep from the other shepherds (considered a bad enough offense to get one hanged during the middle ages) and tries to mess with other people for his own amusement. The Miller is also mischievous, knowingly following up the Knight's courtly tale with a sex farce (complete with fart jokes). So both are trickster

However, the two men are presented different physically. The Miller is physically powerful and well-built. He likes wrestling and it is implied he is quite virile. He is a huge man. Mak is not described in such detail as Chaucer gives but he is wily and easily overpowered by the other shepherds when they discover his deceitful actions.

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