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 neatness of the tale's construction.The tale abounds in incongruity. Some passages require a full knowledge of the medieval ages along with the traditions of that age: for example, consider the following:
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rich old man, voluptuous young girl, common earthy folk, great literary heights, heeld hire harde