Humour In Chaucer Analysis

2317 Words 10 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Chaucer's love of people and of taking every detail as far as he can is exhibited here, where he proceeds in making Absolon even more of a pathetic fool, by showing how dismissive Alisoun is of him when he tries to sing to her. Absolon buys her wine, mead, 'wafres, pipyng hoot', and even resorts to paying other people to try to woo her on his behalf. Her final dissmissal of him with the 'misplaced kiss' is even more effective due to this.

Once Nicholas has explained part of his curious plan to us, and has disappeared for some days into his 'chambre', the carpenter expresses great concern for the wellbeing of his cuckoling lodger. Chaucer's humour is rarely as straightforward as a practical joke - it is often in the form of irony as seen here.

John integrates a great deal of superstition into his concern, revealing to us that that very day he had seen the corpse of a man he had seen at work a few days before, being carried to church. When the truth of Nicholas' condition is revealed, John calls upon 'Seinte
Frydewyde', 'Seint Thomas, 'Jhesu Crist', and 'Seinte Benedight'. The reason that Chaucer has him portrayed as such a God-fearing,
…show more content…
He is undoubtedly a foolish and extremely gullible, but does he really deserve to be cuckolded in such a humiliating way?

Nicholas provides him with a series of instuctions, which would ensure that none of the three would perish in the waters. He urges John to hurry, and to gather three large tubs to hang from the ceiling of his large barn, so that the three of them can sleep safely within them until the flood is upon them, when they can cut the ropes suspending them, and float safely until the waters have subsided. The fact that
John actually believes all of these lies is amusing enough, but when you add to this the thought of the three of them, hanging in 'a knedyng trogh, or ellis a kymelyn' the tale becomes absurd. The final detail that Nicholas adds is that the carpener is to hang in his tub far apart from Alisoun, so that no 'sin' is committed between them. He also emphasizes that they must not talk or cry out to one another,
'for it is Goddes owene heeste deere'.

Chaucer uses Alisoun to mock the carpenter, by having her acting up to his panic when he announces the flood. She, of course, knows about
Nicholas' plan, and has to fake shock and panic when she is told for

Related Documents