The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale Resources
This page links to the Reeve's portrait from the general prologue, several useful bibliographies and college faculty pages on the tale, and scholarly essays and articles.
This "Reeve's Tale" page offers some information on the background and sources for the tale.
In information for students in his Chaucer course, Professor Arnie Sanders's "Reeve's Tale" page offers a brief crib-sheet on the basics of the tale, followed by an excellent and extremely thorough "interpretive issues" section that asks thoughtful questions about the tale.
This page includes information about the symbolism of the horse in the tale, as well as a few links to Chaucer's possible sources for parts of the tale.
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This French fabliau by Jean Bodel (translated into English here) is one of Chaucer's possible sources for "The Reeve's Tale."
Here's another of Chaucer's possible sources: another French fabliau, this one anonymous and with a much later date.
John Trevisa, one of Chaucer's contemporaries, calls the Northern dialect (the same one the clerks speak in "The Reeve's Tale") particularly grating on the ears.
An analogue or source for "The Reeve's Tale" can be found in Boccaccio's Decameron.
British sculptor and artist Elizabeth Frink produced a print of "The Reeve's Tale" as part of her Canterbury Tales collection, now up for auction at Christie's.
Here's a picture of the Reeve and the first page of his tale, from the Ellesmere Manuscript.
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Resources to Help Students Learn Middle English
This page, provided by Harvard, offers ten lessons that start with a general explanation of the principles of Middle English pronunciation and move on to actual practice with the tales themselves.
This is a helpful glossary of Middle English terms often used in Chaucer. The 100 most common words are denoted by an asterisk.