The Glose Was Gloriously Writen’: The Textuality of Langland’s Good Samaritan
WL’s retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan (B.17.50-82; cf. C.20.46-79) is not grounded in traditional exegesis of the parable as it appears in Luke 10:30-37: many elements of WL’s poetic version, including the completely altered narrative context, are unprecedented; and his revision of the parable serves to thematize the problem of text and gloss, “so that hermeneutics informs poetics.” WL retains the core purpose of the parable, but in making the fiction that Christ told part of Will’s dream, in which the Samaritan comments on the action in which he has just participated (and even excuses Abraham and Spes), WL’s version resists assimilation to the modes of clerical allegory.
Proceedings of the PMR Conference 14 (1989): 127-34.
Hale, David G.