Title Background

The Frustration of Narrative and the Reader in <i>Piers Plowman</i>.

The Frustration of Narrative and the Reader in Piers Plowman.

PPl generally lacks the consistent, developed narrative and the clear programmatic structure of medieval didactic literature, and such characteristics cannot be fully explained either by a conception of WL as incompetent or overwhelmed by his material, or by any coherent medieval paradigm of exegesis or psychology. Narrative frustration is real and deliberate; PPl seeks to involve the reader in moral questions that it intentionally does not resolve. The poem insists on the value of kynde knowynge not so much for Will as for us, in instigating a process of the reader’s self-examination and self-definition.


Edwards, Art and Context in Late Medieval English Narrative. 1-15.

Cross Reference



Benson, C. David.