Silence and Suppression in the Reeves Tale

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Such comments as, “I pray to God his nekke mote to-breke” quickly reveal that the verbal game of “quite” involves much more than a free meal to the Reeve in “The Canterbury Tales” (I 3918). This overreaction, which grabs the attention of the audience and gives it pause, is characteristic of the Reeve’s ostensibly odd behavior, being given to morose speeches followed by violent outbursts, all the while harboring spiteful desires. Anger typifies the Reeve’…

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…to his tale out of obliga-tion, and hear nothing more. So, while his story seems uncomplicated, it is anything but, due to the fact that all of his unspoken thoughts have been conveyed within it. It may be vindictive and base, but the Reeve’s Tale contains something far more interesting than a moral: the inner workings of his mind. Bibliography Jung, C.G. Psychology and Religion: West and East. New York: Hull, Pantheon Books, 1958.