About this site

For your convience this site is divided into 4 modules to help navigate the information provided. These modules are designated "View the Text," "History," "Lingustics," and" Literarture."

This site was created as a resource for scholars new to The Vision of Piers Plowman to help them think critically about the text. It includes an introduction to some basic ideas related to Piers with links to both scholarly essays and other online resources. The attempt here is to introduce frames of reference within which to talk about the text. I have also included annotations for MSS L, M, O and W lines (Kane-Donaldson) B12.155-297 to offer the student a sample of Piers in order to, not only demonstrate it's depth, but to help the student make connections to the text, specifically.

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Introduction to The Third Vision of Piers Plowman

In the third vision of Piers Plowman (passus VII-XII) William Langland deals with many of the issues that plague believers of the Christian faith. He tackles the will and wisdom of a God represented by a corrupt church, the presence of evil and God's willingness to interfere on the behalf of His "chosen,” and the relevance of an education on one's prospects of being saved. He deals with the plight of the righteous pagan, the depth in meaning of the sacraments and whether or not they can be considered the only path to salvation by a just God. He presents what could be a rather pedantic argument to the population of 14th century England using contemporary allusions, allegorical representations of key virtues, as well as biblical and other Christian references to help his audience digest his argument. Piers Plowman manuscript icon









Passas 12; lines 12.154- 12.300

Piers Plowman manuscript icon

Enter here to view the second half of passus 12 as well as infomation about each specific manuscript.

View Manuscript L

View Manuscript M

View Manuscript O

View Manuscript W


Public domain image a Plowman from Luttrell Psalter belonging to the British Library







Middle English Language and Grammar


Linguistics Module

Enter here for information about middle English grammar and period specific alpha-numerica characters.


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The History and Context of Piers Plowman

History Module

Enter here for information about the history and context of Langland's Piers Plowman.

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Literary Context of Piers Plowman

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Literatary Module

Enterhere for information about the literary forms and context of Piers Plowman. This includes information about the alliterative revival as well as themes and plot of the poem.