PPl shares a verbal texture and distinctively social poetic temper with Mum, PPCreed, RR, and Crowned King. PPl’s general absence of alliterative decoration and courtliness, with the occasional use of such embellishment for purposes of satiric contrast, is especially evident in PPCreed and Richard. PPl’s interrogation of established discourses, in which such discourses provide the narrative schemes of the poetry at the same time as they invite a questioning of the inadequacies these discourses attempt to conceal, is mirrored in Crowned King, RR, and Mum. (This essay, re-worked from a paper given at the 1993 Cambridge Langland Conference, subsequently formed part of chapter 2 of Helen Barr, Signes and Sothe: Language and the Piers Plowman Tradition. Piers Plowman Studies 10. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1994 [for which see YLS 9 (1995): 211-12].)
YLS 9 (1995): 39-56.