The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Heffernan, Carol Falvo. "A Reconsideration of the Cask Figure in the Reeve's Prologue." 15 (1980): 37-43.
The Reeve's image of a cask of wine and his careful association of it with a stream of life contains sexual and religious allusions. As in the Reeve's image, Death is associated with baptism (stream of life), an idea borrowed from St. Paul's writings. The shape of the tap has phallic connotations.
Justman, Stewart. "Medieval Monism and Abuse of Authority in Chaucer." 11 (1976): 95-111.
Different Chaucerian characters use the same authorities for opposing ends, suggesting that for Chaucer, authority may be illogical and subject to dispute. The inconsistencies in authorities like Jerome allow writers to cite any authority for any reason. Finally, Paul, Jerome, and Boethius demonstrate that human experience cannot be reduced to one single rule.
Smith, Charles R. "Chaucer's Reeve and St. Paul's Old Man." 30 (1995): 101-06.
Scholars have suggested that the "four gleedes" are a borrowing from St. Fursey's vision in Bede's Historia, but actually they reveal the nature of the Reeve and his characters as defined by Paul in Ephesians 4. The Reeve and his characters demonstrate that they are not free of the old man spiritually and that they still partake of the four specific sins Paul lists as evidence of bondage.