Chaucer Canturbury tales - Depictions of Love Through out...

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Depictions of Love Through out history writers and artists of all kind have tried to display their versions of “love.” I write love in quotations because there are many kinds of love to be demonstrated. In the fourteenth century the idea of courtly love was a very popular one. Courtly love is a romanticized version of real love. Courtly love is not “true love,” but rather a battle being fought for self-fulfillment, which can often be misunderstood for real love when it is actually an obsession or infatuation which easily cast away with any signs of the object of loves imperfections. Lust can often be misinterpreted for “true love” as well. Lust is a craving—having to have another person so badly that it hurts. When the act of love is finally acted upon the feeling of love subsides showing that in actuality it was never love to begin with. Chaucer’s character The Miller in The Canterbury Tales gives his audience a tale of three different types of love displayed by three different men, and the power that love has to control the ones involved. The Miller tells a story of a beautiful young maiden, Alisoun, who is married to a carpenter John. John is the landlord of Nicholas an astrology student, who ends up sleeping with Alisoun. Lastly there is Absolon, the local perish clerk who spends his days trying to court Alisoun. Chaucer shows the power love has over his characters by using gullibility, insecurity, revenge, jealousy, adultery, and control in the plot of The Miller’s Tale. By using these human characteristics The Miller’s Tale easily shows how these characteristics when combined with a type of love can be the ultimate downfall for the character that embodies the trait. Chaucer uses trickery and deceit in the plot of The Miller’s Tale to show the intense gullibility of the carpenter John. Chaucer also uses John’s intense jealousy to 1
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show the nature of John’s true love for his wife Alisoun. John’s wife Alisoun and her secret lover, Nicholas, scheme a plan to trick John, giving them a night alone together. Nicholas tells the old man of a fake vision he has had. In this vision, a flood like that from Noah’s day is coming. Nicholas, John, and Alisoun are to be spared, provided they make the necessary provisions. Here, it is not only the absurdity of the lie that a flood will wipe out all except the three of them, but also the irony of the carpenter’s comments.
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