Biblically, wilderness is associated with spiritual desert. Interspersing Vulgate quotations among the vernacular, Piers Plowman intertextually demonstrates these connections through the biblical quotations’ contexts (e.g. B.IX.62a cf. Phil.3:19: surrounding verses in Philippians exhibit the original idea of pilgrimage: the exile’s journey through alien country, the unnatural place, towards perfect nature, heaven). Medieval readers might be expected to recognize Bible references but recent critics often leave biblical contexts a neglected area. This paper argues that the wilderness theme as expressed in Philippians is intrinsic to the poem and illustrates generally how Langland’s ‘voice in the wilderness’ sounds through certain Bible quotations.
This paper examines Langland’s close association of God and nature in the figure Kynde, exploring the possibility that God’s appearance as nature naturante in Robert Grosseteste’s Anglo-Norman poem Château d’amour influenced Langland’s Kynde. In Piers Plowman God as Kynde is an involved creator, intimately concerned with the formation and sustenance of the human body as well as the rest of creation. This paper explores parallels between Langland’s and Grosseteste’s conceptions of God’s creativity, their elevation of the value of the natural world, and their stances regarding the use of the vernacular, or ‘kynde,’ language in matters of faith.