How Secrecy is Presented in The Millers Tale Essay

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How Secrecy is Presented in The Miller’s Tale

Secrecy is a prominent theme in The Miller’s Tale and Chaucer uses it to not only make the tale more interesting but also to give the characters more depth, or in the case of Alison less depth. The way that secrecy is presented and what effects it has will be discussed.

Chaucer introduces the reader to secrecy at the beginning of the tale in The Miller’s Prologue, indicating its importance, ‘An housbande shal not been inqusitif of Goddes privetee,’ and this immediately makes the reader assume that at least one of the characters will in fact be inquisitive of ‘Goddes privetee’ and that there will be secrets in The Miller’s Tale.

The element of secrecy is evident in the
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This also applies to Alison, but secrecy is initiated in an indirect manner. Chaucer describes her as a ‘hoord of apples leyd in hey or heeth’, making it unambiguous that there is something ‘secret’ about
Alison.

But the secrecy that Chaucer presents in Alison and Absolon are not the same as the secrecy that he presents in Nicholas, this shows that these two characters are not as ‘deep’ in personality as Nicholas, this can also be proven by the way that Chaucer gives Alison and
Absolon extensive physical description thus making no secret of their vanity and superficiality.

The element of secrecy is maintained throughout the tale and Chaucer makes secrets and secrecy dominate the relationships between the characters. The most palpable been Nicolas and Alison. The actions in their first encounter are described as ‘prively’ and this adds to the bawdiness of their relationship. Alison also says ‘That but ye waite wel and been privee’ and this line makes it clear to the reader that there is and will be more deceit in the tale.

Alison and John’s relationship is not only surrounded by possession but also secrecy, and even though Chaucer does not describe John or describes an incident between the husband and wife where they interact fully, the way that the plan is concocted by Alison and Nicholas, in which there is no hesitation or objection to the prospect of
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