In the conclusion between the Miller’s Tale and the Reeve’s Tale, the Reeve’s Tale is far more insulting and malicious and convincingly closer to the true definition of quiting, then the Miller’s Tale. The Reeve’s Tale defines what trickery and evildoing and cuckolding is. The Miller’s Tale is more of a tale dealing with a form of black ‘humor and slapstick comedy, rather than a succession of put-downs which occurred in the Reeve’s Tale. In the Miller’s Tale, we see many insults directed towards bow ignorant the man was in choosing the right wife for marriage.
He picks out an eighteen year old bombshell, named Allison and John, the carpenter, who marries her says: This carpenter had married a new wife Not long before, and loved her more than life. She was a girl of eighteen years of age. Jealous he was and kept her in the cage, For he was old and she was wild and young; He thought himself quite likely to be stung. Not only are their ages apart, but they share no similarities in their lifestyles, pointing to the fact that he is a dimwitted fool. (MiLT 89)
The other quiting of the Reeve in the Miller’s Tale is when, once again, the carpenter is portrayed as a dullard by being totally oblivious to the situation; Allison, his wife, and a man named Nicholas, a man known locally for making love in secret, (which was his talent), are trying to have sexual laissons behind John’s back. (MiLT 91). They get John to believe that a great flood, worse than Noah’s is coming, and will destroy all of them. This fool by believeing this tale and following them with the preparations protects himself, even though no flood of any sort arises.
This is the ultimat act of stupidity! The Reeve’s Tale about the Miller is a perfect example of evil and trickery at it’s best. The part being that in the end, the trickster becomes tricked over and over againt but the tables turn and the Miller is the real loser having lost his stolen flour and to add insult to injury, he finds out that his wife and daughter have been cuckolded especially after all the jargon about the following: In order to have Simpkins his relation, The nuns had given her an education.
Simpkins would take no women, so he said, Unless she was a virgin and well-bred, To save the honour of his yeoman stock. ( RvT 109) He thought of himself as being smarter and of a higher status, but in the end the egg was on him. Another fine example would be about the stolen flour. The Miller thinks by letting the horse run away and stealing their flour that he has tricked them. In the end, those same men take their flour back, and carrying the sweet bread which was rightly theirs to begin with and given to them by the Miller’s daughter. ( P. 114-119 RvT)