Title Background

Glutton’s Black Mass: <i>Piers Plowman</i> B-text Passus V 297-385, Passus V 297-385

Glutton’s Black Mass: Piers Plowman B-text Passus V 297-385, Passus V 297-385

Glutton’s confession (B.5) offers an impious parallel to the events of holy week, playing on a system of contrasting associations. The game of “newe faire” held over the clothes of Hick the Hackneyman and Clement the Cobbler parodies the casting of lots over Christ’s garments from John 18-19, the third and final lesson in the Good Friday liturgy. The sharing of a communal cup by the rioters opposes itself to the feast of the Mass, which commemorates self-sacrifice, in the same way that Glutton’s sleeping from Friday evening to sunset on Sunday enacts a bathic parallel to the resurrection.

Volume

N&Q 45 (1998): 173-76.

Author

Wilcockson, Colin