Images of Faith in English Literature 700-1500: An Introduction
An introductory overview of the Christian dimension of frequently read medieval English texts. Chapter 5 treats both PPl and the Canterbury Tales. In PPl, dream sequences are used to introduce the narrator and audience to ever-deepening levels of reality and revelation. For L, understanding Truth does not consist in assenting to certain doctrines, but in the willingness to obey what Truth teaches. The shifting figure of Piers, like St. Peter, the church, and Christ himself, is a channel of God’s progressive revelation to man. The disjointed nature of the narrative reflects the scholastic and monastic approach to truth through the examination of propositions in debate. L’s choice with the apocalypse of passus 20 rather than with the Resurrection mirrors biblical narrative, emphasizing that the church, existing in the world, remains subject to attack.
Rev. Daniel Donoghue, N&Q 45 (1998): 481-82.