Response [to Wendy Scase “Writing and the Plowman: Langland and Literacy”], “Writing and the Plowman: Langland and Literacy”]
PPl features three exemplary readers of spiritual texts: (1) the “lewed” who enact the texts without being lettered (e.g., Piers in the Visio); (2) the person who reads or interprets the letter for others (Clergy, and Piers when he repeats Clergy’s teaching); and (3) the person who penetrates the text so profoundly as to become the text (Piers, both in tearing the pardon and in plowing and seeding the world with truth). WL insistently authorizes his poem by citation of Scripture, a kind of practice which, when practiced in the wrong spirit, is criticized in the poem.
YLS 9 (1995): 132-35.
Clopper, Lawrence M.