Piers Plowman


William Langland

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Devil Character Analysis

The Devil is one of the devils in Hell, thrown out of Heaven for following the prideful Lucifer who refused to obey God. The Devil’s name is often used interchangeably with the Fiend and sometimes seems to refer to a more general chief devil figure, who may be Lucifer and Satan wrapped up into one.
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Devil Character Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the character Devil appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus II
Corruption Theme Icon
Labor vs. Idleness Theme Icon
...“to have and to hold and their heirs after them / A dwelling with the Devil, and be damned forever.” (full context)
Passus IX
Corruption Theme Icon
...Anima—the soul—dwells in the heart. Wit teaches that sinful humans have a soul “like the Devil,” whereas those who live honest lives “are like God almighty.” (full context)
Passus XVI
Corruption Theme Icon
...pole protects against the flesh, which introduces “worms of sin” to the tree. Sometimes, the Devil also tries to attack the tree. He uses a ladder made of lies, and often... (full context)
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...the three types of fruit on the tree: Matrimony, Maidenhood, and Widowhood. Will notices the Devil positioned at the bottom of the tree, waiting to snatch any fallen fruit. When fruit... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
...“lord of high heaven,” some people think his healing abilities come from witchcraft or the Devil. (full context)
Passus XVII
Love Theme Icon
...He asserts that “…Cross and Christendom, and Christ” will seal the commandment, and then the Devil will be defeated. When Will asks to see one of the letters, Hope pulls out... (full context)