The Canterbury Tales

The Relationship Between the Miller and the Reeve College

The Miller and the Reeve in The Canterbury Tales are two characters who hold similar views regarding marriage and love but are different in both mental and physical conditions. The relationship between the Miller and the Reeve, as well as the significance of it, will be elaborated and discussed in this essay. The Miller and the Reeve both present the misogynistic tradition in their tales. They address the idea that women are untrustworthy and will make their husband cuckold no matter what.

In the Miller’s story, Alison, the wife of a carpenter, has an affair with a scholar named Nicholas. According to the Miller, any woman will be like Alison, and it is in women’s nature that they cheat on their husband, that “it’s he who has no wife who is no cuckold” (80), and that marriage is a lie that leads to husband’s misfortune. The Reeve directly copied the Miller’s tale, moreover, he makes the plot even more dark and miserable. The story revolves around a sly, proud miller who is tricked by two young students. The Reeve doubles the characters in the Miller’s tale: there are two seducers instead of one, and there are two women, the wife and the daughter, being seduced rather than the wife alone. The husband in the Reeve’s tale is also...

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