In Piers Plowman, Will falls into a dream vision, which was a popular mode of alliterative poetic narrative, and has a vision of the conflict between the Catholic Church and Theology. Truthe, represented by a Tower in Will's vision, is the allegorical symbol for the Catholic Church, Heaven and God (often in allegories, multiple values are allegorically represented by one symbol). The first of the encounters Will has is with the Holy Church, which prompts Will to seek Truthe. Truthe is juxtaposed to theological learning that has been corrupted by greed and self-serving desire. As he will in the other dreams, Langland gives a reasoned debate and, though Theology is cast as corrupt, presents both sides of issues.
'The tour upon the toft', quod she, 'Truthe is therinne,
And wolde that ye wroughte as his word techeth.'
Lady Mede is the chief example of the conflict between Church and Theology. Drawn from the real personage of Alice Perrers, Lady Mede is exiled by the Church for having...
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