Edmund spenser the faerie queene summary and analysis

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edmund spenser the faerie queene summary and analysis

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

The Faerie Queene was the first epic in English and one of the most influential poems in the language for later poets from Milton to Tennyson. Dedicating his work to Elizabeth I, Spenser brilliantly united medieval romance and renaissance epic to expound the glory of the Virgin Queen. The poem recounts the quests of knights including Sir Guyon, Knight of Constance, who resists temptation, and Artegall, Knight of Justice, whose story alludes to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
Composed as an overt moral and political allegory, The Faerie Queene, with its dramatic episodes of chivalry, pageantry and courtly love, is also a supreme work of atmosphere, colour and sensuous description.
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Faerie Queene (Poem) By Edmund Spenser Summary

The Faerie Queene Summary

The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una "truth". Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia's Bower of Bliss. Britomart , a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall , the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies' honor.

The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it is one of the longest poems in the English language as well as the work in which Spenser invented the verse form known as the Spenserian stanza. In Spenser's "Letter of the Authors", he states that the entire epic poem is "cloudily enwrapped in Allegorical devices", and the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to "fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline". This royal patronage elevated the poem to a level of success that made it Spenser's defining work. Book I is centred on the virtue of holiness as embodied in the Redcrosse Knight. He and his lady Una travel together as he fights the dragon Errour, then separate as the wizard Archimago tricks the Redcrosse Knight in a dream into thinking that Una is unchaste.

All rights reserved. He's wearing armor that has clearly seen action, but he must have just acquired the armor since he himself is inexperienced. He seems like a good-humored kind of guy, definitely ready for some fighting. On the breastplate of his armor, and on his shield, a bloody cross is painted, out of respect and adoration for Jesus and his crucifixion. Hint: this also tells us this guy is probably the Mr.

In The Faerie Queene, Spenser creates an allegory: The characters of his far-off, fanciful "Faerie Land" are meant to have a symbolic meaning in the real world.
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Newly knighted and ready to prove his stuff, Redcrosse, the hero of this book, is embarking on his first adventure: to help a princess named Una get rid of a pesky dragon that is totally bothering her parents and kingdom. So, she, Redcrosse, and her dwarf-assistant all head out to her home. But before they get very far, they get lost in a forest and wander into the cave of a monster named Error who Redcrosse—just barely—defeats.

Edmund Spencer Spenser's period of the Renaissance was greatly interested in the idea of a perfect gentleman. The typical Renaissance man would be open and critical minded, studious and adventurous, practical and talented in many disciplines, and so on. But Spenser added strong moral and religious qualifications in the idea of the gentleman. Unlike the model man of the medieval age, who was supposed to be saintly, and also unlike the entirely Renaissance model of intellectual man, however, Spenser's model was a mixture of the moral man whose moral and spiritual virtues are practically tested and verified in the corporeal world.

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