Title

Architectural satire in the tales of the Miller and Reeve

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2016

Abstract

The houses in the Miller's and Reeve's Tales mutely speak to Chaucer's characterization of John the Carpenter and Symkyn the Miller in ways that hitherto have been only partially recognized. Since medieval houses determined social interaction via their layouts, traffic patterns, and entrances/exits, all of which are crucial in the two tales, this article demonstrates how archaeology and literary criticism together can illuminate the satirical implications of the tales' two houses. Recognizing the clarity and purposefulness of Chaucer's architectural logistics, we reconstruct the houses of John the Carpenter and Symkyn the Miller, showing how they support Chaucer's satire of their owners' economic aspirations and social pretensions.

Publication Name

Chaucer Review

Volume Number

51

First Page

310

Last Page

337

Issue Number

3

DOI

10.5325/chaucerrev.51.3.0310

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