Piers Plowman


William Langland

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Satan Character Analysis

Satan is one of the devils in Hell who was cast out of Heaven alongside Lucifer, the Fiend, Goblin, and thousands of other heavenly beings who became devils. Throughout the course of the poem, Satan is sometimes distinct from the other devils (such as in the Harrowing of Hell, when he clearly bickers with the others). Other times, however, Satan’s name is used interchangeably with that of Lucifer.

Satan Quotes in Piers Plowman

The Piers Plowman quotes below are all either spoken by Satan or refer to Satan. 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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Piers Plowman PDF

Satan Character Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the character Satan appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus XVIII
Corruption Theme Icon
Several devils, including Satan and Lucifer, bicker about if Christ can actually steal their prey from them. Satan knows... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Satan points out that because Lucifer trespassed in the garden disguised as a serpent and tricked... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
Christ tells Satan, “…here’s my soul in payment / For all sinful souls, to save those that are... (full context)