Nicholas' vocation — scholarship and astrology — neatly fits because it justifies his trick on the carpenter. Astrology, in the strict orthodox view, however, is a heinous sin because it is an attempt to know more than man should know and, therefore, usurps God's business. Nicholas' name, like John's, is also significant. In this tale, Nicholas is the boarder at the carpenter's house; in the medieval plays, St. Nicholas was the mysterious guest who thwarted the evil intentions of the host and returned good for evil. Nicholas of The Miller's Tale, however, gives evil for good.Absalon's name is that of King David's beloved and beautiful but disloyal son, and Absalon's vocation as an incense-swinger is also comically relevant. As noted earlier, Absalon is a man
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