Piers Plowman and the Secrets of Health
Discusses the description, in PPl B, of the friar-physician’s work in the second passage above as a kind of ‘enchauntment’. Although the B text appears to be ambivalent about the value of physical healing, as seen from the disparity between these passages, Krug argues that it is not. Rather, the poet of the B text turns to ideas about physical health and healing throughout the poem in order to find ways to value physical existence without allowing physicality to distract believers, from their spiritual goals. Both the B text and the regimens represent reading as a practice that enables personal transformation. For the poet, the utility of this version of the poem was the opportunity it created for justifying his own promotion of the practice of sickly reading while, at the same time, distancing his practice from that of medical writers.
Chaucer Review, 46 (2011), 166-81.