Response [to John A. Alford “Langland’s Learning”], “Langland’s Learning”]
Post-medieval understandings of the learning in PPl can help us to assess more sensitively the great range of fourteenth-century social, religious, and ideological valences and spheres of learning which the poem engages. Specifically, fifteenth- and sixteenth-century responses such as the Prayer and Complaynt of the Plowman and its later preface (probably composed by John Tyndale) understand the anti-intellectual voice of the plowman as socially revolutionary religious thinking that abjures worldly professionalism and clericalism. Such works suggest a more complex anti-intellectualism in the poem, a more recognizably ideological posture of pretended ignorance.
YLS 9 (1995): 10-15.