Piers Plowman

by

William Langland

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Dungeon in the Valley Symbol Analysis

Dungeon in the Valley Symbol Icon

The dungeon in the valley, which lies on the opposite side of the “field full of folk” from the castle on the hill, symbolizes Hell. Holy Church explains to Will that the dungeon is governed by Wrong and was established when the prideful Lucifer disobeyed God and was cast out of Heaven and flung as far down as possible, where he would be forced to stay. A particularly low-lying place on earth is a valley, revealing the connection between the dungeon in the valley and Hell. Since humankind exists in between the castle and the dungeon, their lives on earth dictate whether they will earn Heaven or be sent to Hell. 

Dungeon in the Valley Quotes in Piers Plowman

The Piers Plowman quotes below all refer to the symbol of Dungeon in the Valley. 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:
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Dungeon in the Valley Symbol Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the symbol Dungeon in the Valley appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus I
Corruption Theme Icon
Will asks Holy Church about the dungeon in the valley that sits on the other side of the field of folk. She says the dungeon... (full context)