In OUMEM, Kerby-Fulton compares the various different ways that annotators of 3 different Piers Plowman manuscripts responded to the work. She notes that the annotator of D manuscript (Da) takes on a very popular Medieval reading style of reaching for the “kernel”, rather than the “chaff”. Simply, given that his audience would’ve been other clerically trained readers, he skipped explanations of narrative and went straight for the moral lesson. Despite this, she also notes that due to the attention to detail of Xa’s annotation on the narrative may reveal that Piers, as a vernacular poem, was almost as difficult to maneuver as a Latin set text.
What kind of challenges do you think that medieval readers of Piers Plowman would’ve had with the narrative structure that they may not experience with other works? Do you think Da or Xa had a more effective reading and why?