Piers Plowman


William Langland

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Hand Symbol Icon

The hand in the Samaritan’s teaching represents the Trinity. The hand is composed of several different parts—a palm, fingers, and a fist—while still remaining one unit, a hand. Likewise, the Trinity is one God but also three Gods, meaning God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. In addition, the three parts of the hand (the palm, fingers, and a fist) are used for different tasks in the same way that the three parts of the Trinity have different spiritual purposes as well, such as Jesus’ role in taking on flesh to save mankind.

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Hand Symbol Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the symbol Hand appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus XVII
Love Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
...taught him. The Samaritan affirms that God is both three and one, just like a hand that is also a palm, fingers, and a fist. After giving Will a long lesson... (full context)