Title Background

The Life of the Dreamer the Dreams of the Wanderer in <i>Piers Plowman</i>., the Dreams of the Wanderer in <i>Piers Plowman</i>.

The Life of the Dreamer the Dreams of the Wanderer in Piers Plowman., the Dreams of the Wanderer in Piers Plowman.

The wanderer’s visions up through his awakening from the first inner dream describe Will’s early life, in which he abandoned his clerical calling and adopted a life of quasi-clerical “rechelesnesse.” The visions after the inner dream suggest the dreamer’s advancement, though the wanderer in his waking moments remains anxious, for he has abandoned his spiritual welfare, has avoided labor by re-claiming his clerical status, and may well be defrauding the charitable of their alms and true beggars of their livelihood. Even more reckless is his assumption of the mantle of prophet, for unless he is Dobest and does what he preaches, he condemns himself. The justification of his manner of living and the ground of his salvation lies in his “lern[ing] to love,” so that whatever “craft” he uses will be accomplished in love rather than anger or hatred.

Volume

SP 86 (1989): 261-85.

Author

Clopper, Lawrence M.