Piers Plowman Tradition (190 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors


Inspired largely by William Langland's poem, Piers Plowman , at least fourteen other texts written over the course of the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries feature Piers the Ploughman and/or other characters from the poem. Although there may have been a tradition preceding Langland, his twelve-book poem (written approximately 1360-87) is the most influential of these texts. Set initially in the Malvern hills, it is narrated by a character named Will, who falls asleep and has a vision of a mythical landscape, in which he meets Piers, the humble ploughman, who is attributed Christ-like characteristics. The poem proceeds in the form of a quest for the true Christian life, focused on a search for three characters: Dowel (Do Well),…

Editors. "Piers Plowman Tradition". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=864, accessed 25 October 2016.]