Plague Medicine in Langland’s Piers Plowman
Critics would not think to turn to PPl for a comprehensive account as to the effects of the Black Plague on medieval society, yet this pedagogical essay, written for classes on plague literature, examines C passus 5, 8, 22, and argues that, unlike Boccaccio, L articulates a plague discourse which comprises, evaluates, and criticizes both medical and theological beliefs, often blaming the medical and theological communities for failing to protect the physical and moral health of society. In this sense, L’s poem reveals an attempt to inform readers about the plague’s origin and means of transmission as well as to criticize the leaders of society.
Teaching Literature and Medicine. Ed. Anne Hunsaker Hawkins and Marilyn Chandler McEntyre. NY: MLA, 2000.
Grigsby, Bryon Lee