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Word Count: 958
The Millers Tale and The Reeves Tale two stories in Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales are fabliaux bawdy and comic tales that build to a ridiculous and complex climax usually hinging on some joke or trick One parallel observed between the two stories is the unfaithfulness of the wife in marriage Another similarity between the two stories is the theme of a husband who tries to keep control of his wife In addition the wife is the only one not to receive adequate retribution for her actions One difference however is the meritoriousness of the recipient of the infliction of the worst physical damage In both stories the wives of the miller and the reeve commit adultery And thus lay Nicholas and Alison Busy in solace and the quest of fun 101 Upon John the carpenter falling to sleep Nicholas and Alison decide to betray the reeve and have sexual relations with one another Similarly the millers wife becomes guilty of fornication once the miller has fallen to sleep John waited for a while then gave a leap And thrust himself upon this worthy wife It was the merriest fit in all her life For John went deep and thrust away like mad 116 Although not initially upon the intent of the millers wife to have sex with another man once she is engaged in it she enjoys it thoroughly for John the clerk makes it a highly pleasurable experience Furthermore in The Millers Tale Absalon the epitome of a courtly lover reaps no benefit from his courtliness except a kiss to Alisons arse On the contrary the reeves wife fornicates with Nicholas the complete opposite of a courtly lover This infidelity of the wives seems to imply that Chaucer does not believe that love has a place in marriage with all its courtliness Both in The Millers Tale and The Reeves Tale the husbands attempt to keep excessive control over their wives Jealous
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