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Love Through the Ages

4. Chaucer: The Miller’s Tale

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About this Lecture


Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales includes characters from every part of society - from the highest, the Knight, to the lowest, the Cook, and everything in between. Likewise, the stories themselves range from high to low, and one of the lowest in the whole collection is the Miller’s Tale, which contains some of the rudest language in the whole of English literature. In this module, however, we are interested in Absalon, a character who is a kind of parody of the traditional Medieval troubadour.


This course explores the theme of love from the earliest English literature to the present day – from authors that you have likely heard of, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Byron and Keats, to authors that are perhaps less well-known. This is a course that celebrates love in all it forms and between all kinds of people.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Love Through the Ages - Chaucer: The Miller’s Tale [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Love Through the Ages – Chaucer: The Miller’s Tale." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,