Essay on Piers Plowman and the Last Election

Topics: Allegory, Piers Plowman, Truth Pages: 3 (990 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Essay on Piers Plowman and The Last Election

The book, Piers Plowman, is filled with allegorical figures that teach the readers morals and instruct us on the ideal ways of living. The strategies that the author, William Langland, uses to teach us these morals and values vary considerably. In the first chapter, or Passus I, Langland describes an allegorical figure to tell us about the concept of truth. In the poem, The Last election, the author, John Haines, also uses strategies to describe to us the concept of truth.

The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the formal strategies used in William Langland’s Passus I from Piers Plowman, and the formal strategies in John Haines' The Last Election. Now, the strategies that each author has chosen to use may have affected the meaning in which they aretrying to describe. Does Langland's use of language relate to the Haines' themes or ideas? How do Haines and Langland define “truth”?Passus I uses many different types of formal strategies to describe to us the concept of truth. Because Piers Plowman is a poem, it is definite that there are some literary techniques which are obvious to note, such as the exhaustive use of alliteration. For example: “Taught them through the Trinity how Truth may be know, and to be obedient to his bidding – he bade nothing else.”(Passus I, Line 109-111). The alliteration of this quote adds to the imagery of the phrase. It also emphasizes the emotion being expressed.

Another technique used by Langland is the allegory. The concept of truth is described through an allegory. In lines 85-91 in Passus I, he quotes: “When all treasures are tried, Truth is the best. I call on Deus caritas to declare the truth. It's as glorious a love-gift as dear God himself. For whoever is true of his tongue, tells nothing untrue, does his work with truth, wishes no man ill, he is a god by the Gospel, on ground and aloft, and also like our Lord by Saint Luke's words.” (Passus I, Lines 85-91)...
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