Absolon is a courtly lover he will do anything for Alison and showers her with gifts “He sente hir piment, meeth and spiced Ale,” He goes around singing underneath windows in the early hours of the morning “He singeth in his vois gentil and small,” but there could also be another more active side to Absolon from his other wise passive behaviour ” a dar wel seyn if she hadde been a mous And he a cat, he wolde hertr anon,” is it possible that Absolon would seize any opportunity to get close to Alison. Absolon works as a parish clerk and instead of being able to do his job he is too full of “sexual” feelings, he is too full of lust that he decided not to collect an offering because everyone is too beautiful. Absolon puts fashion and lust before his religious job.
Nicholas is also concerned with his appearance but only to the extent of impressing people and making them think that he is important and wealthy. He does this by displaying a great collection of books and astrology equipment “and bookes grete and smale,”. “ful fetislyb ydight with herbes swoote” his room is attractively decorated with sweet smelling plants, the attractiveness is also meant to be also about Nicholas’ good looks. Absolon is a simple parish clerk Nicholas will not waste a opportunity to show his intelligence and wealth with apparatus and books and Absolon with clothes.
Nicholas also believes that he and Alison will never be caught; he has great confidence in his scheme. The carpenter will never find out because he is more highly educated than Alison’s husband “A clerk hodde lither biset his while, bat if he koude a carpenter beigile” this shows the confidence that Nicholas has where as Absolon would rather wait and bide his time. He is very forward and persuasive in making sure that Alison will take part in the affair unlike Absolon who is a courtly lover Nicholas is forward in his approach “heeld hire by the haunchebone” ” lemman, love me al atones, or I wol dyen.a so God save me,”
Although his methods are shocking they work as they both agree to keep the affair a secret this also shows that Nicholas is scheming and sly “swoor hir oath” Although both Absolon and Nicholas are very different in their attitudes to woo Alison and their approach to life, they both share a passion and lust for Alison, but they are also multi-skilled men Absolon is not only a parish clerk but is also a barber and small scale surgeon; he can play instruments and dance and can draw up legal papers. “wel koude he laten blood and clippend shave,” ” therto he song som time a loud Quinible.
Nicholas is a clerk who takes great interest in astrology and can also play musical instruments “longinge for his art,” Nicholas longs for science and has many scientific instruments around his room which are used for counting, calculating and inspecting the future. He also has an “astrelabie” used to measure the degree and altitude of a heavenly body. “ful often blessed was his mirie throte.” Nicholas has a good singing voice.