The first and perhaps most important parts of the essay writing process are, asking a question, and developing a thesis statement. The question gives the author a coherent topic, without first questioning what it is they want to communicate within the essay the author has no topic or starting point. Once answered the writer can begin developing their thesis; a thesis statement is vital to writing a successful essay, it is the backbone that will give the reader a clear understandin…
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales – The Character of the Reeve
The Character of the Reeve in Canterbury Tales
In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s descriptive technique used to present the Reeve emphasized his physical characteristics as well as the success he attained in his occupation. It is evident that Chaucer gives two different perceptions of the Reeve, one perception is of his physical makeup and the other is of his success achieved in his occupation.
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 Canterbur…
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…w because he does not own the land that he presides over. Even though he is successful and has gained some wealth through his occupation, he still does not own the property and possessions and therefore cannot attain the higher social status.
In conclusion, Chaucer presents the Reeve in detail uncommon to most of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. This detail along with the fact that the Reeve was given a name suggests that the Reeve tends to be more of a specific individual than a general presentation of a class or type of person. He also was prosperous in his occupation of superintendent of his master’s estate, and even though he was respected and acknowledged for his accomplishments and wealth, he did not have the high social status because of his lack of land ownership.