Piers Plowman: An Introduction Second, revised edition

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-07-10
  • Publisher: Liverpool University Press
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Supplemental Materials

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Simpson's introductory study is based on the B-text, the most widely read and studied of the three versions of Piers Plowman. Aimed at undergraduates, it is the only truly introductory book on the text in existence. Its structure follows that of the poem's eight visions and its introduction situates the poem in literary and political history. This fully revised edition takes account of scholarship over the last 15 years and includes a revised and updated bibliography.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Editionp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Approaching Piers Plowmanp. 1
The poem and its authorp. 2
Langland's immediate poetic contextp. 6
'Discourse'p. 14
Schematic structure of the poemp. 15
The First Vision: Prologue and Passus Ip. 16
Introductionp. 17
Literary 'truthe'p. 17
Theological 'truthe'p. 24
Social 'truthe'p. 29
Conclusionp. 34
The First Vision: Passus II-IVp. 36
Introductionp. 37
Personification allegoryp. 37
Mede and social 'truthe'p. 45
Mede and legal 'truthe'p. 48
Conclusionp. 54
The Second Vision: Passus V-VIIp. 55
Introductionp. 56
Ecclesiastical satirep. 58
Theological themes: the reward of works-a wage or a gift?p. 68
Conclusion-the crisis of justicep. 77
The Third Vision: Passus VIII-XIIp. 81
Introductionp. 83
Structure as determined by psychologyp. 85
Stylep. 96
Themep. 98
The inner-dream (XI. 5-402): Fortune, Lewtee, Imaginatifp. 120
Conclusionp. 122
The Fourth Vision: Passus XIII-XIVp. 124
Introductionp. 125
Educational transitionsp. 126
Poetic transitionsp. 134
Social transitionsp. 143
Conclusionp. 147
The Vision: Passus XV-XVIIp. 148
Introductionp. 150
Anima-the whole soulp. 152
Anima and the Churchp. 155
Anima and charityp. 162
Conclusionp. 179
Visions Six, Seven and Eight: Passus XVIII-XXp. 180
Introductionp. 182
The sixth vision: Passus XVIIIp. 184
The seventh vision: Passus XIXp. 191
The eighth vision: Passus XXp. 203
Conclusionp. 214
Notesp. 221
Bibliographyp. 232
Indexp. 245
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