New Modes in the C Text: Clerical ‘Suffraunce’ and Vernacular Counsel


in Conscience and the Composition of Piers Plowman

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653768
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741678 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

New Modes in the C Text: Clerical ‘Suffraunce’ and Vernacular Counsel

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This chapter discusses those discourses new to Langland's presentation of Conscience in the C version of the poem: a new legal discourse in the newly-interpolated speech on clerical negligence in the C Prologue, and a new homiletic style that is introduced in a second interpolated passage in C 3, Conscience's long grammatical metaphor. Just as Conscience is transformed during the composition of B within a variety of different discourses, so too he is transformed in C by the insertion of these new materials in different modes. Like Conscience's banquet in B 13 and his encounter with the friars in B 20, the two additions in the first vision of C emphasise the need for that which Conscience himself increasingly offers in the early part of Piers Plowman: counsel and correction.

Keywords: C-text; revision; interpolation; counsel; correction; homiletic discourse; preaching; clerical negligence; Latin grammar; grammatical metaphor

Chapter.  11814 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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