The final chapter, to 1965, includes discussion of the origins of his Piers Plowman
The book also discusses William LanglandAEs Piers Plowman
, Edmund SpenserAEs The Faerie Queene, and John BunyanAEs The PilgrimAEs Progress.
In both Piers Plowman
and such manuscript diagrams, the reader must orient him/ herself physically within an allegorized landscape, making a pilgrimage, of sorts, towards Truth, which lies at the end.
Social commentary finds its most celebrated expression in Piers Plowman
, but is also there in proverbial lore and the fables of Henryson, for example, and it can also be traced indirectly in 'folklaw', promises, oaths, and the like, and in social memory--in so far as these things can be traced from the surviving, written evidence.
I nearly went to Leeds University (mainly because Gang of Four and The Mekons had gone there) but their English course was chronological and started with Piers Plowman
, which seemed impossibly hard to understand.
For instance, in Piers Plowman
, Glutton and Sloth manifest sinfully despairing or intemperate states through inappropriate sleep, while in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, even apart from Chaucer s snoring churls in the Millers and Reeve's Tales (paralleling the vulgarity of Patience's Jonah), the immoral Cook sleeps drunkenly during the daytime.
I consider as models of this procedure a wide range of books communicating Piers Plowman
B and C, most usually as their single text.
Essay topics include Horace in the medieval classroom, Latin composition lessons and the Piers Plowman
tradition, anima as an alternative to Latin grammar, the aesthetics of renunciation in late medieval culture, public interiorities, agency and the poetics of sensation in Gower's Mirour de l'Omme.
24) Consistent with Douce's visual interests, Piers Plowman
contains illustrations of death portrayed as a dancing skeleton (Fig.
17) The figure of the ploughman also has a vital role in the complaint tradition as well as a broader history in early English letters, drawing on a Biblical plot that extends to Piers Plowman
The book divides into six chapters, moving from a polemical introduction to readings of Piers Plowman
, Skelton's Elynour Rummynge, Shakespeare's Henry IVparts I and II, Middleton's A Game At Chess, and Ben Jonson.
There is not space to describe in detail his readings of the so-called "loller" passages in Piers Plowman
or his analysis of the word's appearance in dissenting as well as mainstream texts, for instance, John Clanvowe's The Two Ways and the anonymous The Fyve Wyttes.