Lesson 9

The Miller's Reeve's, and Cook's Tales

At this point you may no longer need the interlinear translations. There will always be a few unfamiliar words and puzzling phrases in any work of so inventive an author as Chaucer, These are for the most part handled in the page glosses and explanatory notes in The Riverside Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales Complete, or any other well annotated edition.

Begin with The Miller's Tale. First read through the summary of the action. Then read the tale carefully in your printed edition, making full use of the page glosses and Explanatory Notes. If you still find lines that seem obscure look at them in the interlinear edition of The Miller's Tale. If this happens frequently, move from the printed text to the interlinear edition and read carefully through it, taking the quizzes at the end (or take the first test after you have read to line 3396). To start now, click here. Then read the printed text (and, if you wish and have not already done so, take the quiz on the vocabulary).

When you have finished reading the Miller's Tale in your printed text (and have taken the quiz or feel confident in your reading) go back to the page on the  Miller's Tale and browse through the materials there.

Follow the same procedures for reading the Reeve's and Cook's Tales: first try them in your printed edition (you may want to read the summary of the  Reeve's Tale before you begin). And if that reading goes well, with only occasional reference to the the interlinear editions of The Reeve's Tale and  The Cook's Tale you are ready to read on Chaucer on your own. You may want to take a quiz on the vocabulary of The Reeve's Tale and a quiz on the Cook's Tale, just to be sure.

In working your way through the printed texts, you have probably acquired a good deal of background information. To test this, take a sort of check-list quiz on the materials in glosses and notes to those tales. If, on the other hand, you find the printed text is going too slow for you, go carefully through the interlinear editions of  The Reeve's Tale and The Cook's Tale; then go through the printed text again.