Response [to John A. Alford “Langland’s Learning”], “Langland’s Learning”]
A further motive for desiring to know of WL’s learning lies in the persistently allusive, teasing quality of PPl. In Hunger’s vengeance on Waster there may be an echo of Fames’s vengeance on Erysichthon (Metamorphoses 8.777-878). WL may have been learned in classical authors but makes few allusions to them. His treatment of the Passion, however, in which Christ, the Lord of light, closes his eyes (B.18.59), is best understood as a reflection of the tradition exemplified in the Southern Passion and Cursor Mundi. “But more learning about Langland’s learning would permit us to proceed with more confidence.”
YLS 9 (1995): 8-10.
Barney, Stephen A.