Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story The Cook's Prologue

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The Cook's Prologue

  • The Cook enjoys the Reeve's tale so much that he feels as good as if the Reeve was scratching his back.
  • The Cook draws a moral from the Reeve's tale, based upon a Proverb from the Bible: not to bring strangers into one's home, for lodging people at night is dangerous.
  • The Cook declares he has never heard of a miller better tricked than the one in the Reeve's tale.
  • The Cook announces his intention to tell a tale about a funny thing that happened in his city.
  • The Host agrees to this, but cautions him to make sure his tale is good.
  • The Host accuses the Cook of various dishonest cooking practices, including draining gravy from his meat pies to make them last longer, selling old meat pies, giving pilgrims food poisoning, and keeping an unclean kitchen.
  • The Host concludes his jabs at the Cook by claiming he's just joking and asking the Cook not to be angry.
  • The Cook declares that the Host speaks the truth, and therefore his joke is not a good one. Therefore, he promises he will tell a tale about a Host before the pilgrimage is over, although not right now.

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