Course Hero. "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 Aug. 2016. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Canterbury-Tales/>.
Course Hero. (2016, August 25). The Canterbury Tales Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Canterbury-Tales/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide." August 25, 2016. Accessed September 24, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Canterbury-Tales/.
Course Hero, "The Canterbury Tales Study Guide," August 25, 2016, accessed September 24, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Canterbury-Tales/.
Course Hero's video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of The Cook's Prologue and Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer's collection of stories The Canterbury Tales.
The Cook begins his tale, which he claims is a true story, about a man named Peter. Peter was "as full of love, as full of sin," and so fond of partying that he often left work early. He liked to gamble and visit the brothels, sometimes even taking money from the shop where he was an apprentice to indulge himself. Eventually this behavior causes the shop master to dismiss him. Now unemployed, Peter moves in with a friend, who happens to also enjoy "revelling, dice and sport," and whose wife earns money as a prostitute.
Scholars also classify this tale as a fabliau, although it is less well developed than the two previous tales in that genre and tends to be moralizing rather than carefree. It is also unfinished, and scholars do not have a firm explanation why.
This tale follows closely on the heels of the previous one, as something in the Reeve's tale has inspired the Cook to share a story of his own. He notes that he wants to tell a "little joke" rather than elaborate on the "jest of malice" played upon the miller.
It is interesting to note the progression of women's roles thus far in the stories. The Knight's tale involved a noble, chaste lady; the next two stories involved women easily seduced; this story involves (however briefly) a prostitute.