Piers Plowman


William Langland

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Three Wooden Poles Symbol Analysis

Three Wooden Poles Symbol Icon

The three wooden poles that support the tree of Patience and aid Piers Plowman in attacking evil forces who try to steal the tree’s fruits symbolize the Trinity. Will notices that the three poles are each fashioned out of wood from the same tree—underscoring the idea that God is both three and one—that is, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost. By relying on the three wooden poles—the Trinity—Piers Plowman is able to keep the tree of Patience (the Christian community) supported and safe.

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Three Wooden Poles Symbol Timeline in Piers Plowman

The timeline below shows where the symbol Three Wooden Poles appears in Piers Plowman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Passus XVI
Corruption Theme Icon
...and shows him the tree called Patience. Will notices the tree is propped up by three wooden poles , which Piers says is to keep the tree from falling over when the winds... (full context)
Social Hierarchy, Community, and Selfishness Theme Icon
Will asks Piers Plowman about the three wooden poles , noting that they all seem to have come from the same tree. Piers explains... (full context)