Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
The narrator of The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart begins by giving the reasons for undertaking his journey. He tells his readers that he has reached the age at which he can distinguish good from evil and wants to find his own place in the world. Therefore, he has decided to investigate social orders and professions to decide which one he should join. With this realistic rationale, the journey begins, and it turns immediately to allegory. The pilgrim meets a talkative man who asks him where he is bound. After learning that the pilgrim is setting out to learn about the world, this man, whose name turns out to be Mr. Searchall and who is also known as Mr. Ubiquitous, advises the traveler that the world is a labyrinth and that he will soon be lost without a guide. Mr. Ubiquitous identifies himself as a subject of Vanity, Queen of the World, known to him as Wisdom.
The pilgrim and Mr. Ubiquitous are joined by another man, who says that it is his job to explain the world, as it is the job of Ubiquitous to act as guide. He says that he is interpreter to the Queen of the World, and he gives his own name as Delusion. The guide puts a bridle in the mouth of the pilgrim to keep him from turning back, and the interpreter places spectacles before the pilgrim’s eyes. The spectacles make everything appear the opposite of what it really is. Clearly, Ubiquitous represents the force that drives people through a vain world, while Delusion...
(The entire section is 883 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!