We Are the Millers

Catherine Keable, Sam Liberty, Sydney Blais, Devin Macedo, and Tom Libby

Character Overview

The Miller


  1. Stout and big boned.
  2. Red beard.
  3. So strong he could "heave a door from its hinges."
  4. Has a wart on his nose.
  5. Black nostrils
  6. Carried a sword and shield by his side.
The Miller From Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales', 1878- www.easyart.com

He was a jester and people often described him as an impolite and mean-spirited person.

He was drunk when he told the story, so he may have told many false facts.


Alison is the eighteen year old wife of the carpenter. She has the tendicecy of being a promiscuous female.

Carpenter John

The carpenter was a eighty year old man who was married to Alisoun. He was very protective of her and jealous of other men looking.  


Nicholas attended Oxford University to study astrology. He lived with carpenter John.


Abolson is a rich parish clerk who is deeply in love with Alison. He often buys her gifts and sings her songs to win over her love.

The Plot

The carpenter leaves town. Nicholas takes up the opportunity to swoon Alison.

Alison quickly denies Nicholas, which makes him cry, but then they come to terms and decide to sleep together when the time is right.

Nicholas believes that he could beat the carpenter if he were to find out about what he had planned to do with his wife.


Abolson would often buy Alison gifts and sing to her in order to earn her love.

Nicholas tells Alison to tell John that he is ill in order to begin the elaborate plan for them to spend a night together.

John sends a servant who returns to tell that Nicholas is actually ill. John goes to check on Nicholas because he is living in his house.

Nicholas tells John that he had a vision from God. He believes that on the next Monday there will be a flood that is twice as large as Noah's flood. John immediately beings to fear for his wife and himself; which is exactly what Nicholas wants to happen.

Nicholas tells John that they will attach three tubs to the top of the barn. Each tub will hold an ax and provisions.

The plan will be when the flood comes they will break through the roof with the ax and float until the water is gone.

Nicholas tells John it is God's command and he will have to keep it a secret. Monday night comes and they enter the barn in the tubes.

When John began to snore, Nicholas and Alison run off to sleep together in John's bed.

In the morning Abolson stops by the carpenters house. Alison tells him that he loves someone else, but she still gives him a kiss. When Abolson leans in for another, instead he kisses her naked butt. He is so angry that he runs off to the blacksmith and gets a red-hot iron poker.

Abolson returns and Nicholas sticks his butt out and farts aggressively in Abolson's face. Abolson then brands his butt with the red-hot poker.

John hears Nicholas's screams and he thinks the flood is coming. He cuts the rope from the roof of the barn and falls to break his arm.

John tells the tale of what Nicholas had told him. Alison and Nicholas just laugh in ignorance. This made all the townspeople erupt in laughter.

The Irony

1. The miller- “I have a noble story in my store, with which I will requite the good knight’s tale” (83).

Irony- the tale is not one of nobility but one of infidelity, adultery, and deceit.

2. John the Carptenter- “men should not meddle in God’s privity” (93).

Irony- John is referring to Nicholas’s astronomical studies as God’s privity. However, the irony lays in Nicholas meddling in John’s marriage, which is a sacred testimony to God.

3. When Nicholas let’s one rip in Absolom’s face, Absolom brands Nicholas’s ass with a hot iron poker. The irony is that Nicholas was branded by the church’s clerk which symbolizes Nicholas being branded by God and by society as a sinner, much like Hester from The Scarlet Letter.

Real Life Connections

The Miller's Tale can be connected to the celebrity world today. Today all over magazines and reality television celebrity affairs are broadcast to the nation. The celebrity couples often times made up of a young female and an older man. Many celebrity marriages do not last longer than five years because one of the members is unfaithful. In today's society the commitment issues of these celebrities is laughed at and brushed over rather than being addressed, much like in the tale of The Miller. It is very common these days to see a women or a man be unfaithful and it has been an issue for centuries clearly represented by this tale.  

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