Essay Analysis Of ' The Canterbury Tales '

978 Words Nov 14th, 2016 4 Pages
Passage three comes from the third tale told in the Canterbury Tales – the Reeve’s Tale – and focuses on the genre of the fabliau. This was the Canterbury Tales second tale written as a fabliau, the first being the Miller’s Tale. This passage portrays many different ideas and themes which are typical of this genre. The focus of this analysis will centre on the trickery the clerks perpetrate and the imagery Chaucer uses in order to portray the deception the clerks wish to accomplish.
A theme that is common in this passage and also in the fabliau genre is the theme of trickery. In order for the guilty or immoral characters to be punished in the eyes of the victims it is often necessary, at least from their perspective, to use tricks to deceive those around them. However, these cruel twists of fate sometimes go awry or amiss for those delivering them, as seen in line 28-29: ‘He wende have cropen by his felawe John / And by the miller in he creep anon’ showing how even Aleyn gets fooled by the punishment he is carrying out as he mistakes the miller for his friend. The use of the phrase ‘creep anon’ suggests trickery as this creates the atmosphere of sneaking around. This may be suggesting that in terms of the genre this tale sits in that Aleyn becomes someone who deserves to be tricked due to his own actions. This may have been done in order to simple add another comedic element to the scene, or alternatively, if this is to punish Aleyn, to it creates a sense of moral…

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