Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

the Faerie Queene

Elizabethan jacobean literature and the Faerie Queene allegory

  • Login to see the comments

the Faerie Queene

  1. 1. Elizabethan & Jacobean Literature
  3. 3. Allegory and The Faerie Queene Like this simple allegory, Book 1 of The Faerie Queene is allegorical but far more complex. Literal Level a story of romance and adventure  (1) Moral/Christian Allegory abstract moral truths (with Truth, Faith, Error, etc.)  (2) Historical Allegory religious history of 16th century England (with the Pope, etc.)  (3) Biblical Allegory Biblical history of humanity (with Christ, Satan, etc.) The allegorical levels are not presented consistently throughout the poem. In places, Spenser focuses on only one of the allegorical levels; in other places, he tries to incorporate all three allegorical levels.
  4. 4. Levels Characters Literal Red Cross Knight Una Archimago Moral/Christian Holiness, a good person Truth Hypocrisy Historical England One true faith Pope The Main Characters and the Allegorical Meaning The characters, creatures, and action in Book I of The Faerie Queene have allegorical significance. The table below should help you keep track of the significance of three important characters on two allegorical levels. As you are reading Book 1 of The Faerie Queene, keep the allegorical levels in mind and see if you can find and explain passages that are especially important in terms of their allegorical significance.
  5. 5. The stages of Red Cross Knight's journey in Book 1 of Spenser's The Faeire Queene allegorically reflect the stages that any of us might encounter as we take our moral journey through life. At the left below are summaries of a few events in Red Cross Knight's journey.
  6. 6. Stages of the Literal Journey  Red Cross Knight, yet untested, begins his journey with Una and the Dwarf as companions  Seeking shelter from a storm, Red Cross Knight wanders into the den of the monster Errour. Red Cross Knight battles Errour, and, with help from Una, he defeats the monster and continues on his journey.  Red Cross Knight is deceived by Archimago into thinking that Una is a loose woman, so Red Cross Knight abandons Una and, guided by his will and grief, continues his journey alone.  Without Una, Red Cross encounters Sansfoy. Red Cross Knight battles Sansfoy and kills him.  Without Una, Red Cross Knight meets Duessa, is attracted to her, and continues his journey with Duessa as a companion.
  7. 7.  Duessa leads Red Cross Knight into the House of Pride, where the knight is entertained by a procession of the Seven Deadly Sins.  While in the House of Pride, Red Cross Knight is challenged to a fight with Sansjoy. The knight struggles against Sansjoy but finally defeats him.  After facing Sansjoy, Red Cross Knight is led out of the House of Pride after the Dwarf helps him see the darker side of it.  Wandering alone, still without Una, Red Cross Knight is once again found by Duessa, and he welcomes here. After drinking from a magic fountain that saps his strength, and after taking off his armor, Red Cross Knight becomes amorous with Duessa.  In an amorous encounter with Duessa, with his armor off and weakened by the magic fountain, Red Cross Knight is attacked by the giant Orgoglio, who conquers the knight and imprisons him in a dungeon.
  8. 8. The Faerie Queene is Spenser’s masterpiece.. The poem is devoted to the greatness of the glory of England and her kings or queens. The poem is complex and allegorical which have discouraged the readers in turning to it. He wrote a vast allegory in order to fashion a gentleman of noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline In the first book the allegory id continuous and the moral is prominent Spenser dies not shine as an allegorist. There is no “simple restrained line of a great allegorist.” There is no central idea, the ardent passion or the unity of design required for a powerful and effective allegory. There is complication instead of unity. His characters are both moral and historical personages. His King Arthur in love with fairy queen is magnificence the supreme virtue that includes all others; he is also the symbol of divine grace.. The allegorical story is thus been moral and political. The adventures of the Red cross Knight represent the alternatives offered by Prote.
  9. 9. Allegorical Interpretation of Archimago Spenser uses the character of Archimago as an allegorical representation on a moral and religious level as well as a political level. Spenser uses Archimago’s allegory to “Transition from Errours Den to the Knights direct encounter with falsehood witchcraft, as a literal means of separating Red Crosse from Una “. Archimago’s purpose is to separate Red Crosse from truth so that he might begin the “gradual process by which a man who has allowed his reason to be obscured by passion, falls deeper and deeper into sin”. The first allegorical level that is made apparent is the moral allegory. Archimago is meant to represent, hypocrisy, as well as witchcraft and illusions. He uses magic to disguise himself as a religious and morally sound man so that he can deceive Red Crosse and Una into trusting him. Archimago’s actions epitomize hypocrisy because Archimago is acting as though he is protecting Red Crosse when, in actuality, he has created a false reality in order to bring about the downfall of Red Crosse, representing holiness.
  10. 10. The second allegorical level taking place in book 1 of The Faerie Queene is the religious allegory. Archimago is a representation of the falseness and deceit in the Catholic Church. Archimago’s division of truth from holiness symbolizes the threat of the hypocrisy and plots of the Roman Catholic Church against the English Church. Spenser uses Archimago and his illusions as a stumbling block in Red Crosse’s quest for his religious identity. Likewise, Spenser uses the Hermitage Episode to portray the spiritual dangers that are connected to the loss of faith. Spenser is saying that when Truth (Una) is separated from Holiness (Red Crosse), Hypocrisy (Archimago) gets a chance to deceive Holiness and steer him off his righteous path. The third and final allegory that is present in Book 1 of The Faerie Queene is the political allegory. Spenser’s political allegory shows the hypocrisy and illusions used by the Catholic Church to cause disorder and uncertainty. Archimago’s political allegory shows the intense historical referencing throughout The Faerie Queene.
  11. 11. Spenser’s use of moral, religious and political allegory clearly shows how he feels about Pope Clement and the Catholic Church. He brings to light the hypocrisy and illusions used by the Catholic Church to help the government manipulate their lives as well as the lives of the people of England. Through Archimago’s character, Spenser reveals how anyone can appear to be religious, however, their true nature is revealed by their