"Piers Plowman": The influence and the effects of sermon structure and rhetoric in the B Text.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/185030
Title:
"Piers Plowman": The influence and the effects of sermon structure and rhetoric in the B Text.
Author:
Law, Marita.
Issue Date:
1990
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Critics have offered many views about the structure of Piers Plowman. Provided with few clues, they have tried to determine from the dominant features the poem's organizing factors. However, since 1926, when G. R. Owst suggested in Preaching in Medieval England that the meaning of Piers would become clear if the poem were compared in its thematic and artistic elements with sermon literature (295-296), only a few critics have discussed Langland's use of the sermon form. This present study argues that Langland structured his poem as a sermon to answer the Dreamer's question, "How I may saue my soule?" (B. I. 84), and to explain that salvation is attained by knowing and observing the love commandments, a Scriptural theme frequently treated in the sermons of the time. By comparing the structure of Piers with that of the sermon as Robert of Basevorn describes in Forma praedicandi (1322), I show that Langland forms his poem with the use of sermon "ornaments": invention of theme, antetheme/protheme, prayer concluding the antetheme, restatement of theme, division and confirmation of divisions, and concluding prayer. In addition, I show that the visions and passus, which are interrupted with the Dreamer's awakening, form subdivisions in each of the sections. I also show that Langland uses dream-allegory, dramatic-narrative, and satirical exempla to embellish his explanation of salvation. This parallel of the "art" in Langland's poem with the "art" of preaching shows that the poem has a definite structural and thematic unity and that the logical plan makes Christian belief concerning salvation understandable, instructive, and persuasive.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Literature, Medieval.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Dahood, Roger

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.title"Piers Plowman": The influence and the effects of sermon structure and rhetoric in the B Text.en_US
dc.creatorLaw, Marita.en_US
dc.contributor.authorLaw, Marita.en_US
dc.date.issued1990en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractCritics have offered many views about the structure of Piers Plowman. Provided with few clues, they have tried to determine from the dominant features the poem's organizing factors. However, since 1926, when G. R. Owst suggested in Preaching in Medieval England that the meaning of Piers would become clear if the poem were compared in its thematic and artistic elements with sermon literature (295-296), only a few critics have discussed Langland's use of the sermon form. This present study argues that Langland structured his poem as a sermon to answer the Dreamer's question, "How I may saue my soule?" (B. I. 84), and to explain that salvation is attained by knowing and observing the love commandments, a Scriptural theme frequently treated in the sermons of the time. By comparing the structure of Piers with that of the sermon as Robert of Basevorn describes in Forma praedicandi (1322), I show that Langland forms his poem with the use of sermon "ornaments": invention of theme, antetheme/protheme, prayer concluding the antetheme, restatement of theme, division and confirmation of divisions, and concluding prayer. In addition, I show that the visions and passus, which are interrupted with the Dreamer's awakening, form subdivisions in each of the sections. I also show that Langland uses dream-allegory, dramatic-narrative, and satirical exempla to embellish his explanation of salvation. This parallel of the "art" in Langland's poem with the "art" of preaching shows that the poem has a definite structural and thematic unity and that the logical plan makes Christian belief concerning salvation understandable, instructive, and persuasive.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectLiterature, Medieval.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDahood, Rogeren_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEisner, Sigmunden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBerkhout, Carlen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9024649en_US
dc.identifier.oclc703880788en_US
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