Tears and Trial: Weeping as Forensic Evidence in Piers Plowman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although William Langland’s great fourteenth-century English alliterative poem Piers Plowman has been called many things, “lachrymose” is not one of them.2 Most explorations of Piers Plowman focus on its author’s concern with the state of the world from an intellectual, theological perspective; indeed, with the notable exception of studies on Margery Kempe’s effusive weeping,3 scholars have yet to pay serious attention to weeping and emotion in late medieval English literature. However, at key moments in the narrative of Piers Plowman, tears and weeping do make understated appearances, and those appearances seem to alter the direction of the poem in ways that critics have yet to acknowledge
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History
ISBN (Electronic)9780203807750
ISBN (Print)9780415744195
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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