The Lives of the Miller's Tale shows how Chaucer transformed the colorless Middle Dutch tale that was his source into the lively and dramatic tale of raunchy Nicholas, sexy Alison, foolish John, and squeamish Absolon. Beidler draws attention to the ways Chaucer made his tale more dramatic through the use of dialogue, scene division, music, visual effects, and staging. Of particular interest to scholars is Beidler's description of John the carpenter's house, the way the three tubs are suspended from the beams, and the famous shot-window through which the famous kissing, farting, and scorching are enacted. In the second half of the book Beidler discusses more than thirty of the many retellings - variously labeled translations, modernizations, or adaptations - of the tale as bowdlerized stories for children, as diversionary tales for adults, as coloring books, as novels, as musicals, as plays, as films. His particular interest in the second half is in the various ways the retellers have followed Chaucer in dramatizing the tale. He shows that it is natural that many modern versions have given the tale new life on modern stages and in films.The Miller's Tale has had many lives; it promises to have many more.
The Lives of the Miller's Tale
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
The Roots, Composition and Retellings of Chaucer's Bawdy Story
Education & Reference