Reflections on the ‘Allegory of the Theologians ‘ Ideology and Piers Plowman.,’ Ideology and Piers Plowman.
Allegorical interpretation is seen as the tool of the Church, an entrenched social institution, to control the “diverse potentials” of the sacred text and contain imaginative activity within its own ideological framework. PPl asserts conventional formulations largely to problematize them; as opposed to Jacques de Vitry and Stephen Langton who allegorize agricultural activity imperialistically, Langland refuses standard clerical allegory in B.6 in favor of a densely social and political depiction of the breakdown of social order. Although B. 19 shows Langland asserting traditional social ideology, his recourse to a “magical” dissolution of all conflict suggests that the orthodox social ideology was already doomed.
Aers, ed., Medieval Literature, 58-73.