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Unformatted text preview: Nicholas shouts, "Water, help, Water, Water," startling John from his sleep. Thinking that the flood is coming, John cuts the rope that holds his boat suspended and crashes to the floor. The neighbors, hearing all the ruckus, rush in and, when they hear of John's preparations for a flood, laugh at his lunacy. Analysis This tale is the funniest Chaucer ever wrote and has been popular with readers of humorous literature throughout the ages. Chaucer used no known source for The Miller's Tale, but in general outline, it is one of the most common earthy folk tales, or fabliaux. The story of the rich old man married to a voluptuous young girl has been and still is the source of much of the bawdy humor throughout Western literature. In Chaucer's treatment, the story is elevated to great literary heights through Chaucer's masterful use of comic incongruity and characterization, and by the incredible...
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- Fall '11