Canterbury Tales Essay

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Throughout the different tales of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, ostensible power struggles are shown which were mainly due to characters having too much pride to let anything affect their egos. The tale that exemplifies power struggles the most of all of the traveller’s stories would be The Reeves Tale. The Reeves Tale is a story told by the bitter, sadistic Reeve who was offended by the Millers Tale, which made fun of an old carpenter considering the Reeve had once been a carpenter. The tale explains the story of a miller named Symkyn who is notorious for cheating people out of their mill and being very corrupt and deceitful. Two students- Aleyn and John are sent from a nearby school to use the mill, with the headmaster being almost positive that Symkyn could not cheat the two bright students. As it turned out, Symkyn managed to do just that by setting their horses loose causing the students to leave their flour at the mill. Symkyn who lives with his wife and daughter, has them use the flour he had stolen from the boys to make bread. The students return much later after finding their horses and they are allowed to stay the night, where they sleep in the same room as Symkyn and his wife and daughter. They come to the realization that they have been cheated so Aleyn decides that as revenge he will have sex with Symkyn’s daughter that was sleeping nearby. John, feeling cheated still tricks Symkyn’s wife into his bed and thus rapes her. In the morning, Aleyn accidentally tells Symkyn that he had sex with his daughter and a fight breaks out. The previous night, Symkyn’s daughter had told Aleyn where the bread was in the house, so the boys engage in a serious brawl with Symkyn and flee with the bread. The Reeves Tale shows power struggles between the characters through the need for Symkyn to steal from the students, the boys thoughts that rape would be a good

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