Title Background

The Anxieties of Ecclesiastes in <i>Piers Plowman</i> with Special Reference to Passus X (B-Text), with Special Reference to Passus X (B-Text)

The Anxieties of Ecclesiastes in Piers Plowman with Special Reference to Passus X (B-Text), with Special Reference to Passus X (B-Text)

This essay, available at , explores the role of Ecclesiastes as a model for L’s portrayal of epistemological difficulty in B.10. Sawicka-Sykes shows that this biblical text, despite its attribution to Solomon, the embodiment of wisdom, portrays a mind troubled by the same doubt and despair that face Will in his quest for Dowel in passus 10. Both texts question the purpose of the created order and of human knowledge, and both pose their questions through the competing voices of multiple personae; the crucial difference is that L offers faith and its companion, love, as a solution to Will’s intellectual deadlock. True knowledge of Dowel is revealed to consist not in the abstract comprehension of an idea, but in an ongoing process of suffering love, in which doubts play a constructive role. (from the editor’s foreword)

Volume

Marginalia (Yearbook of the Medieval Reading Group, Cambridge University), 14 (2012), 1-14.

Author

Sawicka-Sykes, Sophie A.