Theology and Character in the Quest for Salvation in Piers Plowman and The Pilgrim's Progress


  • Noelene Kidd


William Langland's Piers Plowman (C-Version c.l387) and John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) are major literary answers to the question of the Philippian gaoler, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). In his complex poetry, Langland, a cleric in minor orders, offers a complicated anatomy of the quest for salvation, with an incomplete resolution; wheareas Bunyan, a tinker, writing from a non-conformist Protestant perspective describes more simply a personal quest with an unequivocal resolution.