Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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For her husband, Alisoun's proper place is the house since he can control her and prevent her from betraying him: "Jalous he was, and heeld hire narwe in cage/For she was wylde and yong, and he was old/And demed himself been lik a cokewold" (I 3224-6).
"'Narwe in cage': Teaching Medieval Women in the First Half of the British Survey." Medieval Feminist Newsletter 25: 25-31.
/ Do wey your handes, for your curteisye!'" (3285-87), yet our generic expectations--set up very nicely by the opening portrait of an old carpenter who marries and holds "narwe in cage" a "wylde and yong" woman (3224-25)--point us instead to the role that she does indeed end up playing in the plot.
But if Perkyn's energy is not much different from that of Nicholas and Absalom, his expression of it has a different significance because it runs directly counter to the social and commercial codes of conduct for this urban setting, standards represented by the constraints imposed in the shop of the Master Victualer.(5) In this sense, Perkyn is like a male version of Alysoun, a dapper, restless, bird-like youth whose nature simply can not be pent up "narwe in cage" -- or in his master's shop.
Fa from keeping Alison "narwe in cage" he is well-known for going off to Oseney fo "a day or two" (3668) leaving her at home with Nicholas, he does not react at all to a perfect opportunity to show jealousy the first time Absolon serenades Alison beneath the shot-window, and worst of all he nearly always betrays an apparently unselfish concern for the welfare of other characters, especially Alison, his "hony deere" (3617).(19) The amount of slandering against John in the criticism is extraordinary once you start to attend to it, and it registers the critics' resistance to recognizing the Miller's covert and ambivalent sympathy with a man whom he knows, as the critics also do, must be a fool to care for someone the fabliau has fated to betray him.
"'Narwe in cage': Teaching Medieval Women in the First Half of the British Literature Surveys" Medieval Feminist Newsletter 25: 25-31.