In Chaucer's introduction of the Reeve, he immediately begins with the Reeve's physical makeup, as shown in this excerpt from The Canterbury Tales:
"His beerd was shave as neigh as evere he can;
His heer was by his eres ful round yshorn;
His top was dokked lik a preest biforn;
Ful longe were his legges and ful lene,
Ylik a staf, ther was no calf yseene (590-594)."
This excerpt shows the attention to detail Chaucer selected to introduce the Reeve. Chaucer also gives the Reeve a name, which is not commonly done for most pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer announces the Reeve's name in The Miller's Tale, as shown in this excerpt:
"The Reeve looked up and shouted, Shut
your trap!'. . . To this the drunken Miller responded,
My dear old brother Oswald, such is life...'
This excerpt from The Miller's Tale shows Chaucer getting very specific by connecting the Reeve with a name. This act of naming the Reeve gives evidence to support the argument that the Reeve seems to be more of a specific individual than a representative of a large class of people. After Chaucer presents the physical characteristics of the Reeve, he then describes the Reeve's occupation. A reeve by definition is a minor official or superintendent on an estate, generally an intermediary between a lord and his serfs. His job included being responsible and accountable for all his master's accounts and animals, as shown in this excerpt from The Canterbury Tales:
"His swin, his hors, his stoor, and his pultrye
was hoolly in the Reeves governinge,
and by his covenant yaf the...