Langland’s Originality: The Christ-Knight and the Harrowing of Hell.
Langland’s treatment of the theme of the Christ-Knight recalls that of Nicholas Bozon’s Vn rey esteit iadis ke aueit vne amye, where the lady is abducted by vn traitour who takes her par un acord, the action is described as a gylerye, and the king’s dreit en li clame is stressed. Langland’s emphasis is on the triumphant rather than sacrificial aspects of the Crucifixion. He turns the debate of the Four Daughters of God from a court-disputation to an argument among the sisters themselves, who function somewhat like a chorus in commenting on the action rather than as active participants. Langland’s probable use of Bozon’s Chasteau d’Amour shows how the older notion of a ransom paid to the Devil for souls in Hell (the “Devil’s rights”) becomes more like Anselm’s notion of Christ’s satisfaction for sin.
Kratzmann and Simpson, eds., Medieval Religious and Ethical Literature, 66-81.
Waldron, R. A.