Piers Plowman

by

William Langland

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Patience Character Analysis

One of the seven sisters guarding the gates of the castle on the hill in the field of folk, an allegorical figure representing one of the attributes that a Christian should cultivate. Patience attends the dinner with Will and the Master of Divinity, and, as might be expected, counsels patience when Will loses his temper with the corrupt and hypocritical Master of Divinity. Patience also explains to Hawkin the right (and Christian) way to truly clean Hawkin’s coat that’s stained with sin.

Patience Quotes in Piers Plowman

The Piers Plowman quotes below are all either spoken by Patience or refer to Patience. 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 XIII Quotes

Disce…doce, dilige inimicos.
Disce and Do-Well, doce and Do-Better, dilige and Do-Best:
I learned this from a lover once—Love was her name.
“With words and with works,” she said, “and will of your heart,
…learn to love, for the Lord of Heaven’s sake,
Your enemy in every way even as you love yourself.”

Related Characters: Love (speaker), Patience (speaker), Will
Page Number: 209
Explanation and Analysis:
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Patience Character Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the character Patience appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus XIII
Corruption Theme Icon
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...appears to Will in another dream and invites him to a dinner with Clergy, Scripture, Patience, and a Master of Divinity. At the feast, the Master sits at the place of... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
...Master of Divinity drinks excessive amounts of wine and stuffs himself with food. He tells Patience that he heard the Master preach four days ago on penance, but that the Master... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
...in front of the Master “Would turn to molten lead in his midriff.” He tells Patience that he wishes to “prate to this pisspot with his plump belly, / and press... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
Labor vs. Idleness Theme Icon
...so much food that there is none leftover for Will and his companions. Gesturing to Patience to keep Will quiet, Conscience asks the Master to continue explaining Do-Well and Do-Better. The... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...until Piers Plowman can explain it to them in person. In the meantime, they ask Patience for his thoughts. Patience says, “Disce and Do-Well, doce and Do-Better, dilige and Do-Best.” Patience... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
The Master of Divinity interrupts Patience’s teachings, claiming that nothing can “…produce a peace between the Pope and his enemies” or... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Patience packs his bag with food, including “sobriety and sincere speech and steadfast belief.” Not long... (full context)
Passus XIV
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
Hawkin is skeptical, so Patience explains to him how “…through faith comes contrition… / Which drives away deadly sin and... (full context)