Shifting Typologies in Langland’s Theology of History.
WL’s typological analysis exhibits four major novelties: 1) Abraham-Faith and Moses-Hope as personifications of completed figural relations; 2) the intrusion of the parabolic figure Samaritan-Charity into the chronology when we would expect the historical Christ to complete the typology; 3) characterization of the historical Christ by use of poetic realizations of the Word-Made-Flesh (the parabolic Samaritan and Christ-in-Piers’s-armor); and 4) the continuation of the typology in the post-Ascension world. WL’s typology remains historical with regard to the figure and advent of the incarnated Christ, but maintains at the same time that historical change does not signify an alteration in the essential relationship between man and God. Tropological and anagogic dimensions of typology are developed to show that people of various historical periods and degrees of perfection are saved if they are “lel” to their belief and conform to the essence of life manifested in the historical person of Christ.
Typologv and English Medieval Literature, ed. Hugh T Keenan. Georgia State Literary Studies 7. New York: AMS Press, 1992. 227-40.
Clopper, Lawrence M.