The castle on the hill, which lies on one side of the “field full of folk,” and opposite of the dungeon in the valley, symbolizes Heaven. Truth, one of the representations of God in the poem, resides in the castle, enhancing the connection between God’s heavenly kingdom and Truth’s castle perched on a hill. The word “truth” has several meanings in the poem, which affect and broaden the interpretation of the castle. First, the castle can be inferred to be home to truth in the form of “integrity,” which points to Heaven because of its associations with moral perfection and goodness. Likewise, the castle is also where one can find truth in the sense of the reality of things, which points to the Christian understanding of God and Heaven. Since the humans in the “field full of folk” exist in between the castle and the dungeon, they have the ability to either earn Heaven or be damned in Hell.
Castle on the Hill Quotes in Piers Plowman
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…