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The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale


by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales: The Reeve's Tale Resources


Luminarium's Reeve's Tale Page

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.

Harvard's Reeve's Tale Page

This "Reeve's Tale" page offers some information on the background and sources for the tale.

Professor Arnie Sanders's Reeve's Tale Page

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.

Professor Jane Zatta's Reeve's Tale Page

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.

Movie or TV Productions

I Raconti di Canterbury
"The Reeve's Tale" is one of eight Canterbury Tales covered in Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini's sexually explicit and graphic version of the Tales.

Historical Documents

The Tale of Gombert

This French fabliau by Jean Bodel (translated into English here) is one of Chaucer's possible sources for "The Reeve's Tale."

The Miller and the Two Clerks

Here's another of Chaucer's possible sources: another French fabliau, this one anonymous and with a much later date.

John Trevisa on the State of the English Language

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.

Decameron, Day 9, Tale 6

An analogue or source for "The Reeve's Tale" can be found in Boccaccio's Decameron.


Dame Elizabeth Frink's Reeve's Tale

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.

The Reeve's Picture and Tale

Here's a picture of the Reeve and the first page of his tale, from the Ellesmere Manuscript.

More to Explore

Universitet van Amsterdam's "Saucy Chaucer"
The Universitet van Amsterdam English department did their own staging of "The Reeve's Tale," which they called "Saucy Chaucer." Read all about it here.

Resources to Help Students Learn Middle English

Teach Yourself to Read 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.

A Basic Chaucer Glossary

This is a helpful glossary of Middle English terms often used in Chaucer. The 100 most common words are denoted by an asterisk.

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