Piers Plowman

by

William Langland

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Truth is one of the two representations of God (the other being Kind). Truth is first introduced by Holy Church and is portrayed as a Creator God who lives in the castle on the hill. However, although Truth is a representation of God, he isn’t exactly God—made clear by the fact that Truth has been instructed by God to marry Meed (a marriage that doesn’t pan out). Later, in the Harrowing of Hell, Truth is one of the four daughters of God. Her sisters are Mercy, Righteousness, and Peace.

Truth Quotes in Piers Plowman

The Piers Plowman quotes below are all either spoken by Truth or refer to Truth. 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.
Prologue Quotes

I saw a tower on a hill-top, trimly built,
A deep dale beneath, a dungeon tower in it,
With ditches deep and dark and dreadful to look at.
A fair field full of folk I found between them,
Of human being of all sorts, the high and the low…

Related Characters: Will (speaker), Truth, Holy Church, Wrong
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Passus V Quotes

He’s the promptest payer that poor men know.
He withholds no worker’s wages so he’s without them by evening.
He’s as lowly as a lamb and lovely of speech.

Related Characters: Piers Plowman (speaker), Truth
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:
Passus VII Quotes

…I can find no pardon here—
Only, “Do well, and have well,” and God will have your soul.
And “Do evil, and have evil,” and hope nothing else
But that after your death-day the Devil will have your soul.

Related Characters: Priest (speaker), Piers Plowman, Truth
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Piers Plowman LitChart as a printable PDF.
Piers Plowman PDF

Truth Character Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the character Truth appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus I
Love Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
...and speaks to him gently, explaining to him that the hilltop tower is home to Truth, who is “father of faith” and creator of the world. Out of compassion for his... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
...for his sins and asks her how to save his soul. Holy Church responds that Truth, a “love-gift” declared by Deus caritas, is the answer. (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...Christ created 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... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Holy Church explains to Will that Truth is the “trustiest treasure on earth,” and that this idea is imbedded in all people,... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
While Truth is “trustiest” on earth, love is “trustiest” in Heaven, as love erases sin and establishes... (full context)
Passus II
Corruption Theme Icon
A man named Theology objects to the wedding, saying that it will anger Truth. He reminds the crowd that Meed is the daughter of a woman of legitimate birth,... (full context)
Passus III
Corruption Theme Icon
...King decides that he will simply ask Meed which man she would like to marry, Truth or False, “And if she works with wit and follows my will / I will... (full context)
Passus V
Corruption Theme Icon
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...those who “seek Saint James and saints at Rome,” telling them to instead “Seek Saint Truth, for he can save you all.” (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
...all of the sinners, the group multiplies, and “A thousand men then thronged together.” Seeking Truth, the massive crowd “blunder[s] forth like beasts over banks and hills.” The crowd soon comes... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
Labor vs. Idleness Theme Icon
A peasant named Piers Plowman suddenly appears, claiming to know Truth intimately. As Truth’s follower, Piers works in Truth’s fields, “sow[ing] his seed and oversee[ing] his... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Piers Plowman gives the crowd an overview of the directions to Truth. The crowd must first go through Meekness until they know to love God and love... (full context)
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
...Grace to open the gate. Inside the gate, says Piers, “You shall see in yourself Truth sitting in your heart.” (full context)
Passus VI
Labor vs. Idleness Theme Icon
The crowd says that Piers Plowman’s directions to Truth are too complicated to follow on their own—they need a guide to help them every... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Corruption Theme Icon
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
Labor vs. Idleness Theme Icon
...needs to love the fakers, since “…they’re my blood brothers, for God bought us all./ Truth taught me once to love them every one.” Hunger agrees that Piers must show them... (full context)
Passus VII
Penance and Repentance Theme Icon
Labor vs. Idleness Theme Icon
Truth sends Piers Plowman a pardon “For him and for his heirs” that allows all those... (full context)
Passus XVIII
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
...a young woman named Mercy, who is gentle and kind. The second is her sister, Truth, who is beautiful and fearless (in this instance, Truth is now the female daughter of... (full context)
Good Works and Salvation Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...to save humankind. Righteousness accuses Peace of being drunk for saying such a thing, echoing Truth’s claim that Hell is permanent, even for the prophets and the patriarchs. Peace explains that... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
...says that Jesus has now come “…to have out of hell every one he pleases.” Truth tells the group to be silent, for she sees a spirit calling for the gates... (full context)
Corruption Theme Icon
...it is his right to lay claim to the souls in Hell, since long ago, Truth told him that “If Adam ate the apple, all should die / And dwell with... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
...so sharp / That Love, if he liked, might not make a laughing matter.” Peace, Truth, Mercy, and Righteousness reconcile and kiss one another. As music begins to play, Will wakes... (full context)