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Religious Criticism In The Miller's Tale

            A story of a licentious woman, a love triangle gone awry, a misplaced kiss, and revenge .
             The above phrase could be used to describe almost any work in the fabliau genre. On the surface, the "Miller's Tale- by Geoffrey Chaucer and Heile of Beersele, the story which Chaucer based his Miller's Tale, are just another pair of fabliaux. Each seems to be just another simple, obscene tale meant to amuse and entertain the common people. The Heile of Beersele may, indeed, be another entertaining story; however, it is apparent that Chaucer had other motives when writing his "Miller's Tale."" His tale, unlike the Heile of Beersele, mocks the hypocrisy, misogyny, and faith of the Church and its members. Although the Miller's Tale and the Heile of Beersele seem strikingly similar upon first read, Chaucer wrote the Miller's Tale, not as a form of entertainment, but as a form of criticism of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. .
             During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church maintained a fazade that was idealistic by nature. It expected its followers to be exemplars of "perfection."" Yet, in actuality, they were far from that. Even, the popes, the highest members in the Church hierarchy, were corrupt. Chaucer addresses this hypocrisy in his "Miller's Tale- specifically through the character of Absalom, the parish clerk. Unlike the author of the description of the priest in Heile of Beersele, Chaucer provides a lengthy description of Absalom, also mentioning him repeatedly throughout the story. Absalom's sin was not his chasing of a married woman, but the fact that, instead of living the life of a chaste clergyman, he was lustful for Alison and every other woman. The following is Chaucer's description of Absalom: .
             "This Absolon, that jolif was and gay,/Gooth with a sencer on the haliday,/sensinge the wyves of the parish faste;/And many a lovely .
             look on hem he caste /Hath in his herte switch a love-longinge/That .

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