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The Historical Allegory In “The Faerie Queene” By Haley Kroger
Not Your Typical Fairytale “The Faerie Queene,” is much more than just a fairytale. Many of the characters contain historical paradoxes from the Elizabethan time period in England. The setting itself is an allegory to England.
A Little British History During Queen Elizabeths reign, England was going through the Catholic Reformation, which is also known as the English Reformation. People believed the popes and Catholic Church were corrupt so they wanted to get away from it. Instead they wanted Protestantism and Anglicanism. Queen Elizabeth was a well known Protestant, so she became the symbolic leader of the Catholic Reformation.
Good Versus Evil Edmund Spenser was very anti-catholicism. In the story, the good characters represent true religion, which he thought was Protestantism/Anglicanism. The villains represent the Roman Catholic Church.
The Good Guys Gloriana, the Faerie Queen, is a paradox for Queen Elizabeth. The Redcrosse Knight represents an individual Christian on their search for Holiness. Una means truth. Must have true faith to be Holy.
Archimago means arch-The Bad Guys image. The Protestants accused Catholics of idolatry because of their extensive uses of images. Duessa represents the Catholic Church because she is deceiving and she is described as wearing elaborate gold and purple clothing, showing the greedy wealth and arrogant pomp of Rome. Error- “Her vomit full off bookes and papers was...”(177).
Discussion Question What do you think Edmund Spensers purpose was for writing this? Do you think he was hoping for sometype of outcome?