The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Cook's Tale Summary

The Prologue to the Cook’s Tale begins with the Cook, named Roger of Ware, applauding the Reeve for his tale and promising to tell a story “in game.” He warns Harry Bailey, the Host, not to take the story too seriously, even though it is about a “hostileer” (pub-owner), like the Host.

The Cook’s Tale begins by describing an apprentice named “Perkin Reveller,” because he enjoyed “reveling,” or dancing and partying. Perkin is described as short, with black hair and a dark complexion. Although his job is to sell food, he prefers to hang out in the tavern or dance in the streets. One day, Perkin’s master decides to get rid of him, having apparently had enough of his reveling. However, Perkin finds lodging with a companion who also loves to party and who has a wife who keeps a shop, but whose actual job is selling sexual favors. Thus the tale ends.

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