Piers Plowman


William Langland

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Lucifer Character Analysis

Lucifer is one of the main devils in Hell, as he was the heavenly being who pridefully refused to obey God and manipulated other heavenly beings into following him rather than Christ. For his sinfulness, Lucifer and his followers were thrown out of Heaven and sent to the pits of Hell. Although Lucifer is usually distinct from the other devils in the poem, his name is occasionally used interchangeably with that of Satan.

Lucifer Quotes in Piers Plowman

The Piers Plowman quotes below are all either spoken by Lucifer or refer to Lucifer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W. W. Nortona & Company edition of Piers Plowman published in 2006.
Passus XVIII Quotes

The bitterness that you have brewed, imbibe it yourself
Who are doctor of death, the drink you made.
For I who am Lord of Life, love is my drink
And for that drink today I died upon earth,
I struggled so I’m thirsty still for man’s soul’s sake.

Related Characters: Christ / Jesus (speaker), Lucifer, Satan
Page Number: 319
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lucifer Character Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the character Lucifer appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus I
Corruption Theme Icon
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...ten orders of heavenly beings, gave them power, and taught them to obey Truth. However, Lucifer, “the loveliest of light after our Lord,” refused to obey Christ, causing him to fall... (full context)
Passus XV
Corruption Theme Icon
...makes Will “one of Pride’s knights,” since the same desire for knowledge is what caused Lucifer’s downfall. Anima explains that craving such endless knowledge goes against Kind. He points out that... (full context)
Passus XVIII
Corruption Theme Icon
Several devils, including Satan and Lucifer, bicker about if Christ can actually steal their prey from them. Satan knows that if... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Satan points out that because Lucifer trespassed in the garden disguised as a serpent and tricked Adam and Eve into eating... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
The Fiend suggests that all the devils flee. He blames Lucifer and his lies for the whole thing, claiming, “Because we believed your lies we all... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
A bright light calls for the devils to unlock the gates, to which Lucifer answers, “Who is that?” The light answers, “The King of Glory,” and commands the devils... (full context)