Piers Plowman


William Langland

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Covetousness Character Analysis

Covetousness, also called Sir Harvey, is a naïve man who knows so little about Christianity, he doesn’t even know what restitution means—even though his title (Sir) denotes status, either in the clergy or the nobility. After he confesses to Repentance, however, Covetousness is overwhelmed by crippling guilt for his sins—this is one of the poem’s many examples of contrition, or genuine remorse for one’s wrongdoings.
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Covetousness Character Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the character Covetousness appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus V
Corruption Theme Icon
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
Covetousness, whose real name is Sir Harvey, comes next. When Repentance asks him if he has... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
After Covetousness comes Glutton, who claims he was on his way to the Church when the women... (full context)
Passus XVI
Corruption Theme Icon
...winds come. Piers explains that he uses the first pole to protect the tree from Covetousness. The second pole protects against the flesh, which introduces “worms of sin” to the tree.... (full context)
Passus XIX
Corruption Theme Icon
...of the world. If Antichrist succeeds, Pride will be the Pope, guided by his cardinals, Covetousness and Unkindness. (full context)
Passus XX
Corruption Theme Icon
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
Despite the momentary peace, Fortune, Lechery, Covetousness, and Simony resume their attack on Conscience and Unity. Simony talks the pope into appointing... (full context)