The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Brewer, Derek S. "The Reeve's Tale and the King's Hall, Cambridge." 5 (1971): 311-17.
Though no accounts indicate that King's Hall was ever called Soler Hall, records do indicate that King's Hall during Chaucer's time was occasionally called Scoler Hall. Thus, "Soler" may be an error for "Scoler," and the Reeve may indeed refer specifically to King's Hall, Cambridge, when he tells us that Aleyn and John are students in Solar Hall.
Correale, Robert M. "Chaucer's Parody of Compline in the Reeve's Tale." 1 (1967): 161-66.
The clerks distort the prayers of the Compline service in their curse of the miller and his family, and also in their "swyving" of the miller's wife and daughter. Chaucer then parodies the secular aube (morning song). The action of the tale parodies one of the most solemn Compline prayers.
Ellis, Deborah S. "Chaucer's Devilish Reeve. " 27 (1992): 150-61.
Chaucer carefully orchestrates the Reeve's portrait so that he appears most diabolical. The Reeve's physical appearance makes him suspect, as do his profession and his delight in stealing and lying. His language also is confused, and he thinks of sermons as games.
Feinstein, Sandy. "The Reeve's Tale: About that Horse." 26 (1991): 99-106.
Though many scholars have posited that the horse in the Reeve's Tale is a stallion, agricultural records show that it is probably a gelding, thus suggesting an allegory of spiritual powerlessness resulting from a loss of self-control. The work of Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella and the Palladius on Husbandrie present the medieval view of stallions. Even if the animal is gelded, it may still experience sexual desire, and the Reeve himself exemplifies this fact. As a gelding, the horse stands for both the miller, the clerks, and the Reeve himself.
Friedman, John Block. "A Reading of Chaucer's Reeve's Tale." 2 (1967): 8-19.
The Reeve's use of animal imagery in his tale far exceeds the number of animals usually found in fabliaux. Some of the animals Chaucer added are associated with various sins, thus suggesting a moral reading in addition to the humorous one.
Garbáty, Thomas J. "Satire and Regionalism: The Reeve and His Tale." 9 (1973): 1-8.
By indicating that the Reeve comes from Baldeswelle, Chaucer creates regional satire since inhabitants of that area had been emigrating to London in droves. As Chaucer describes him, the Reeve would probably have been an agent for Norfolk landowners, and as such, the other pilgrims would have viewed the Reeve with suspicion. Because of the increasing influence of the Central Midlands dialect, the pilgrims would have thought the Reeve's speech barbarous and barely understandable. Thus the Reeve's imitation of John's and Alan's northern dialect appears as a funny attempt to defend his own dialect.
Pichaske, David R., and Laura Sweetland. "Chaucer on the Medieval Monarchy: Harry Bailly in the Canterbury Tales." 11 (1977): 179-200.
Because the Host "rules" the pilgrims (179), readers can examine his behavior and determine Chaucer's attitude towards the monarchy. As the tales progress in the Ellesmere order, readers perceive that the Host changes from tyrannical ruler to good governor. In Group I, the Host's response to the Miller shows him to be a poor ruler, and the domination of the Miller and the Reeve at the end of Group I suggests that the Host is not fit to rule. The Clerk's response to the Host's demand for a tale indicates an awareness of the limits under which a political ruler governs. The Host's response to the Pardoner shows that he has not yet recognized the authority of charity over all the pilgrims. He has, however, become more gentle. When the Host rescues the Cook, he demonstrates the care and concern of a good ruler for his subjects. At the entrance to Canterbury, the heavenly city, the Host relinquishes his rulership of the pilgrims. Readers should not be surprised by the political commentary in the Canterbury Tales, since both the Legend of Good Women and the "Lak of Stedfastnesse" include extended political comments.
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.
Spencer, William. "Are Chaucer's Pilgrims Keyed to the Zodiac?" 4 (1970): 147-70.
The sequence of the pilgrims in the General Prologue suggests that they are keyed to the zodiac. Readers can view each pilgrim in terms of the influence of the planets and the stars. Among the pilgrims whom a knowledge of the medieval science of the zodiac helps to illuminate are the Knight, the Squire, the Yeoman, the Prioress, the Monk, the Friar, the Merchant, the Clerk, the Man of Law, the Franklin, the Cook, the Shipman, the Physician, the Wife of Bath, the Parson, the Miller, the Manciple, the Reeve, the Summoner, and the Pardoner.
Tkacz, Catherine Brown. "Chaucer's Beard-Making." 18 (1983): 127-36.
In the Reeve's Tale Chaucer puns on the name of St. Cuthberd, making him St. Cutberd (Deceiver). Chaucer employs the word "berd" elsewhere, giving it sexual overtones. When the Reeve uses "reve," he connects Symkyn to himself and not to the Miller whom the Reeve wanted to requite for his tale.