Title Background

Langland William., William.

Langland William., William.

PPl is relevant to the Shepheardes Calendar and Faerie Queene as analogue, precursor, and source. In SC, (month of Maye), the name and character of Piers as good shepherd (i.e., good parson) derive from PPl and its tradition, as does the poem’s occasional use of the aa/ax alliterative line, its persistent allegory, and “vigorously plainspoken” moral satire; the reference in the Envoy to “the Pilgrim that the Ploughman playde a whyle” is almost certainly to PPl rather than the Plowman’s Tale. FQ shows verbal echoes of Lady Meed in Duessa; more generally, FQ and PPl are similar in their treatments of the individual’s efforts to re-enact the Redemption in self and society, interest in the creative and destructive power of language, scenes of dreams with inner dreams and periodic waking, projection allegory, and the continuous redefinition of key terms.


The Spenser Encyclopedia. A. C. Hamilton, gen. ed. Toronto and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press; London: Routledge, 1990. 525-26.

Cross Reference



Anderson, Judith H.