Значение слова LANGLAND в Литературной энциклопедии
WILLIAM (OR WILLIAM of LANGLEY) (1330?-1400?).-Poet. Little can be gleaned as to his personal history, and of that little part is contradictory. In a note of the 15th century written on one MS. he is said to have been _b._ in Oxfordshire, the _s._ of a freeman named Stacy de Rokayle, while Bale, writing in the 16th century, makes his name Robert (certainly an error), and says he was _b._ at Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire. From his great poem, _Piers the Plowman_, it is to be gathered that he was bred to the Church, and was at one time an inmate of the monastery at Great Malvern. He _m._, however, and had a _dau._, which, of course, precluded him from going on to the priesthood. It has further been inferred from his poem that his f., with the help of friends, sent him to school, but that on the death of these friends the process of education came to an end, and he went to London, living in a little house in Cornhill and, as he says, not only _in_ but _on_ London, supporting himself by singing _requiems_ for the dead. "The tools I labour with ... [are] _Paternoster_, and my primer _Placebo_, and _Dirige_, and my _Psalter_, and my seven Psalms." References to legal terms suggest that he may have copied for lawyers. In later life he appears to have lived in Cornwall with his wife and _dau._ Poor himself, he was ever a sympathiser with the poor and oppressed. His poem appears to have been the great interest of his life, and almost to the end he was altering and adding to, without, however, improving it. The full title of the poem is _The Vision of Piers Plowman_. Three distinct versions of it exist, the first _c._ 1362, the second _c._ 1377, and the third 1393 or 1398. It has been described as "a vision of Christ seen through the clouds of humanity." It is divided into nine dreams, and is in the unrhymed, alliterative, first English manner. In the allegory appear such personifications as Meed (worldly success), Falsehood, Repentance, Hope, etc. Piers Plowman, first introduced as the type of the poor and simple, becomes gradually transformed into the Christ. Further on appear Do-well, Do-bet, Do-best. In this poem, and its additions, L. was able to express all that he had to say of the abuses of the time, and their remedy. He himself stands out as a sad, earnest, and clear-sighted onlooker in a time of oppression and unrest. It is thought that he may have been the author of a poem, _Richard the Redeless_: if so he was, at the time of writing, living in Bristol, and making a last remonstrance to the misguided King, news of whose death may have reached him while at the work, as it stops in the middle of a paragraph. He is not much of an artist, being intent rather on delivering his message than that it should be in a perfect dress. Prof. Manley, in the _Cambridge History of English Literature_, advances the theory that _The Vision_ is not the work of one, but of several writers, W.L. being therefore a dramatic, not a personal name. It is supported on such grounds as differences in metre, diction, sentence structure, and the diversity of view on social and ecclesiastic matters expressed in different parts of the poem.
Литературная энциклопедия. 2012