Essay Immorality in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

1646 Words 7 Pages
Immorality and moral ambiguity are two concepts that will ruin any relationship. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, he specifically illustrates through his pilgrims’ stories some comical and realistic events that display immorality in the Middle Ages. There are several characters whose stories are focused on presenting the immorality within their tales. Like that of “The Miller’s Tale,” and “The Merchant’s Tale.” Chaucer utilizes these tales to display one specific immoral act, which is sexual sin or lust. Chaucer addresses the seven deadly sins in his novel; The Canterbury Tales, lust can be highlighted in two major tales “The Miller’s Tale,” and “The Merchant’s Tale” which help display key elements of the immorality in the …show more content…
In “The Miller’s Tale,“ and “The Merchant’s Tale” the two young wives are deprived sexually because their partners are so old and this causes them to be tempted outside of marriage. They believe this could never happen though because both husbands, John and January, are so jealous and protective of their wives that they do not allow leaving their sides. In Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale” the jealousy of John shows, “The carpenter had just married a girl whom he loved better than life. She was eighteen years old. He was jealous and kept close watch upon her, for she was wild and young. While he was old and thought himself likely to be cuckolded,” (66-67). This shows an example of extreme jealous, some of which is expected, because during the Middle Ages there were young men who would come and seduce single and married women. It is described mostly as “courtly love,” and it is when a man is chasing a woman for different reasons. The woman could be single or even married and if she said no it would cause him great emotional and physical pain (Rogers: 1, 107). The young men might catch themselves fantasizing over these unobtainable women.
Lust is the second element of medieval immorality that Chaucer addresses in “The Miller’s Tale,” and “The Merchant’s Tale.” Lust is a common problem
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