MRG Meeting: 20 October 2004

Medieval Sitcom? ‘The Flood’ and ‘The Miller’s Tale’

The forthcoming reading group will take the form of a close reading session and discussion of two texts, introduced and chaired by Ingrid Abreu Scherer and Katie Walter. Focusing on the specific theme of floods, we will use these texts as a way into discussing the forms of medieval humour, the representations of marriage, and the comic use of biblical narrative found within them. We will read and discuss approximately 100 lines from each text – extracts of which will be made available in the Graduate Study Room in the English building, and also at the meeting. It would be great if you could read these in advance of the meeting (and all of both texts, if you have time), but feel free to come along even if you haven’t had a chance to.

As it will be the first meeting of term, we shall be visiting the pub afterwards – all would be welcome to join us.

‘The Flood’: The York Mystery play cycle version of ‘The Flood’, lines 57-155, (York Mystery Plays, ed. by Richard Beadle and Pamela King (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), pp. 23-27). If you have time or are interested, compare with the Towneley version of ‘Noah’, lines 192-244.

'The Miller’s Tale': Chaucer’s ‘The Miller’s Tale’, lines 3538-3582 and 3790-3855, (The Riverside Chaucer, ed. by Larry D. Benson, 3rd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 73; 76-77).

If you have any questions or queries, or indeed any texts and themes you would like to be discussed in an MRG meeting, please contact Katie Walter (

©2004 Medieval Reading Group at the University of Cambridge

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