Allegorical Buildings in Mediaeval Literature.
The complexity of allegory has often been seen to derive from narrative action rather than from the objects that appear in that action; hence the static quality of the allegorical building, deriving in part from Ezekiel 40-44 and Revelation 21, presents a potential problem for writers, which is often addressed by combining the building-allegory with that of the allegorical battle. The stasis of the allegorical castle implies a bulwark against external attack, with movement often represented as moral instability, as it is in the description of the castle of Kind (B.9.1-56), where WL interestingly advances the allegory by retaining the material world in his metaphor to an unusual degree. In the description of Truth’s dwelling (B.5.585-604) closure represents resistance rather than security; stability comes when entry is achieved. With the harrowing of hell, the problem involves getting out of another’s stronghold; Christ destroys the stasis represented by the building, but the building-image is transformed into the New Jerusalem.
MAE 63 (1994): 191-210.