Ghostly Sights: Visual Meditation in Late-Medieval Literature.
PPl is a spiritual autobiography that asserts social reformation to be impossible without personal reformation beginning in contrition. The process of the dreamer’s spiritual growth is the plot of the poem. WL’s main concern, especially in the C text, is the purgative stage of the threefold ascent to God. Like Margery Kempe, the dreamer explores faith and morals through interior dramatized meditations; like Margery’s Book and conversion narratives in general, PPl is patterned by the discovery of spiritual truths more worthy of exposition than the external facts of the dreamer’s life. Compunction of heart, necessary for the grace of conversion, is aroused through a vision of the Crucifixion; Will may thus begin the process of restitution, in keeping with the life of an ordinary Christian.