Reeve's Tale Summary

Topics: Marriage, Theft, Criminal law Pages: 2 (440 words) Published: February 25, 2014
The Reeve’s Tale
Characters:
Symkyn – also known as the Miller; he is a jealous and corrupt man who has a penchant for stealing; very protective of his wife Symkyn’s wife – was nobly born, father was the Parson of the town, educated in nunnery Molly – the Miller’s twenty year old daughter

Alan and John – two young, gullible students from Cambridge University, they devise a plan to expose that the Miller is a thief

Setting:
The story takes place primarily in a mill in Trumpington, a town close to Cambridge.

Summary:
Alan and John come to see the Miller and his family. While they are Alan and John grind corn at the mill, the Miller sets their horses free. While Alan and John chase their horses around for most of the day, the Miller steals half of their corn. The Miller tells his wife to bake a cake with the stolen corn and to hide it. By the time Alan and John come back, it is late and the Miller invites them to stay at his home for the night. To get back at the Miller for stealing their corn, Alan gets into Molly’s bed and has sex with her during the night. Out of jealousy, John moves the baby cradle in the room to the foot of his bed so that when the Miller’s wife would get up in the middle of the night, she would get into bed with him. John then proceeds to have sex with the Miller’s wife. After he is done, Alan crawls into bed with the Miller since there was no cradle at the foot of his bed. Thinking it was John, he tries to wake him up and whispers in his ear, “Get ready to leave, I have been having sex with Molly all night!” Hearing this, the Miller punches Alan in the face, causing him to bleed. The Miller trips while trying to get out of bed and falls on his wife. His wife, thinking that she was in bed with her husband, thinks that Alan and John are fighting. She ends up beating her husband, thinking it was Alan, with a stick and he falls to the ground. Alan and John run off and escape with their corn and their horses

Themes:
Deceit – the...
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