Honors Theses


College of Arts and Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of English


Department of English


Bachelor of Arts



Document Type

Honors Thesis


Scholarship on Piers Plowman has consistently overlooked the rich depth of meaning concerning the Eucharist that Langland provides in the final few passus. The poem examines a broad view of salvation history that encompasses the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and the advent of Christ and the Church while simultaneously presenting the narrative of one’s personal salvation that runs parallel with the discussions of literal salvation history. Both of these narratives, historical and personal, culminate in the poem with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which is re-presented at every Mass by Christ’s Eucharistic presence. Within the text, Piers acts as an evolving allegory that takes on different facets of salvation, from Christ to Peter, which then leads to Piers becoming a central Eucharistic figure that also renders all of salvation history liturgically present by the consecration of bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood. Thus, the personal narrative of salvation intersects with the broader, historical narrative by the connection of Christ’s Church and the sacraments therein, specifically the liturgically real presence of Christ in the Church’s sacrament of the altar.

Publication Date


First Advisor

Johnson, Holly

Second Advisor

Anderson, Thomas

Third Advisor

Dunn, George