Title Background

Response: Langlandian Personification

Response: Langlandian Personification

This paper examines some of the characteristics of Langlandian personification. It begins with a brief look at the interpolations in the copy of Chaucer’s Cook’s Tale found in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 686. As a number of scholars have noted, these alliterative and allegorical interpolations seem much more immediately reminiscent of L’s poetry than they do of Chaucer’s. This paper argues that this is not simply because these interpolations are alliterative and allegorical, but because of the way they mimic L’s distinctive style of personification. It goes on to link these interpolations with the themes considered in this issue’s cluster of essays on ‘Personification’. As this paper shows, the essay cluster’s attention to L’s treatment of both nonhuman materiality and embodied knowledge sheds new light on the notable lack of visual description that L provides for the personifications in PPl, as well as his reliance on sound and voice for bringing his personifications to life. (MF)


Yearbook of Langland Studies, 33 (2019), 231–38


Flannery, Mary