Anyone with brothers or sisters knows that bickering and arguing is just a part of life. Siblings will fight over toys, the last biscuit, even whom Mom and Dad love the most. But who ever heard of arguing over who tells a better story? This is exactly the premise of the quarrel between the Miller and the Knight in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer, writing as both the Knight and the Miller, uses various parallels and literary devices to illustrate the two men's attitudes toward love and chivalry. .
The two narrators of the tales, the Knight and the Miller, are strongly contrasted in their introduction. In the "Prologue-, the narrator first introduces the Knight, due to his high class. However, from the beginning a careful reader notices the sarcasm and flippant language the knight uses. He also has rather effeminate traits. He is "meek as a girl and gentle in his ways."" (55) The Knight has apparently boasted to the other travelers of his extensive, yet clearly unrealistic travels to fight in foreign countries.
He had fought in Lithuania and in Russia,.
No Christian knight more often; he had been.
In Moorish Africa at Benmarin,.
At the siege of Algeciras in Granada.
And sailed in many a glorious armada. (54).
After going on for five more lines about the glorious battle he has participated in, the narrator mentions that the Knight has "Fought for the faith and killed three separate men/In single combat. He had done good work."" (54) If the Knight was truly as brave and as experienced as he tries to make himself appear and fought in as many battles as he claims, it seems he would have killed more than "three separate men."" His character is exaggerated even further when the narrator says, "He had never spoken ignobly all his days/To any man by even a rude inflection."" (55) Using that sort of superior tone, the narrator tries to show the Knight's belief that he is also superior to the rest of the travelers on the pilgrimage to Canterbury.