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The Faerie Queene - Edmund Spenser Book I, Canto I Stanza 1 Invocation of the Muse an epic convention Similarities to Virgil:

: pastoral then epic poetry Structure - supposed to reflect Virgils Aeneid, i.e. 12 books with 12 cantos each The last line of this stanza also echoes Virgils first line in the Aeneid: I sing of warfare and a man of war Also introduces allegory aim is to moralise present a moral for the reader/audience Stanzas 2-4 open the chests of scrolls to release tales about Gloriana and Arthur Invocation to Cupid, Venus and Mars to add the love element into the epic, hence moving towards romance poetry Reference to Queen Elizabeth I through Gloriana as similar types... Canto I st. 1-2 Redcrosse Knight Description of the hero Allegorically: Holiness Historically: St George, the patron saint of England and the right kind of gentleman Red bloudie Cross on his armour and on his shield a symbol of Jesus suffering for mankind faithfull true in deed and word, but rather solemn dreaded nothing but was dreaded himself Stanza 3 The Quest given to him by Gloriana, the Faerie Queene,(allegory: QEI) - the lady (Una) is the true instigator of the quest (st.5) Aim: to winnne him worship, and her grace to have / which of all earthly things he most did crave (honour ll.22-23) and to prove himself in battle Nemesis: a dragon Stanza 4-5 The Lady Una Whiter than white (purity) Mourning white clothes covered by a black stole - face hidden by the folds of a veil She has a lamb with her Una is truth, the one true faith Anglican Protestantism Of royal lineage Dragon wasted her land and kidnapped parents Summoned knight to avenge her land Stanzas 6-11 The Storm Forced to seek shelter in shady grove with tall trees paths are wide and worn, lead into the forest Birdsong heard singing the praises of the trees in the forest a catalogue of the trees and their uses as part of the birds hymn...

That path they take, that beaten seemed most bare (93) lost in maze Birdsong courtly love flirtation - leads them astray in grove Wandering losing their faith Going deeper into forest descent into Underworld God leads them out at the end Stanza 12 Arriving at a Cave Lady warns RCK of potential danger Advises him to turn back Appearances can be deceptive Pride shame were to revoke / The forward footing for an hidden shade: / Vertue gives her selfe light, through darknesse for to wade. Stanza 13 Lady recognises Errours den Error means to wander, to err, be mistaken Redcrosses Development Not Holiness in the beginning; He makes mistakes, learns by his mistakes, and so becomes perfected in Holiness. PRIDE (first of the Seven Deadly Sins) leads RCK into trouble A trait shared with many knights from Arthurian romance Recurrent idea in the FQ pride the downfall of the Christian Errours Den (14-26) shining armour provides light Errour half-serpent, half-woman she is loathsome, vile... (st. 14) huge tail, mortal sting a thousand young ones suckling her (on poisonous dugs) offspring are of various forms Durty ground lives in the darkness - afraid of light (truth) retreat into the darkness of her mouth - Inversion of birth Allegorically represents the Roman Catholic Church (the enemy) Everything foul must come from it darkness, filth, poisons the mind, soul, body etc. afraid of the light, i.e. truth..(st.15 - 16) The Battle RCK blocks her retreat She becomes enraged threatens to sting RCK strikes first blow Errour - dazed from the blow - winds herself around his body the speaker says: God helpe the man so wrapt in Errours endless traine (l. 162) Power of True Faith Lady implores RCK to add faith to his forces and to strangle her

Implication: through the wandering in the forest, RCK lost faith Frees a hand, gets a good grip on her throat and she loosens her hold on him Stanza 20 Flood of poison, lumps of decayed flesh issue from Errours mouth stench forces RCK to lose his hold on her spews out books and papers, frogs, toads which creep away into the grass books and papers refer to the anti-Protestant RC propaganda against England and Queen Elizabeth at the time spreading poison Epic similes (21 & 23) Like Nilus describes the way the Nile floods in spring and later as the water recedes, it leaves muddy ground for all sorts of creatures to feed from In 22 - pours forth all her spawn serpents, monsters swarm about him but cant hurt him Likens their effect to the effect of gnats of an evening brushes them off in the same way 24-26 Stench is overbearing shame of running away cuts off her head black blood gushes from her head Spawn try to reenter her via the mouth, but cant find it sucked up her blood making her death their life and eke her hurt their good Having drunk the blood, they swelled and then burst, hence self-destructive slew themselves Stanza 27-28 The Way Out Lady congratulates him and wishes him a like outcome in similar adventures his first adventure proven self worthy of armour Back through the forest keeping to the most obviously beaten path out of the forest, with God as their friend Stanza 29 The Old Holy Man dressed in black grave, solemn a book by his belt, rosary beads in his hands, praying, bent low void of any malice prays, knocking on breast, as one that did repent Seeking New Adventures (30-33) Enquires after any adventures of hermit Holy man - no right to meddle in such things -only prays for his sins BUT knows of an evil RCK takes the bait An evil lives far away Ladie intercedes: he must get some rest before he can take on another adventure they can stay for the night

34-35 Description of hermitage far from people, holy Chapel built in where he does his holy things Christall stream gently played, sacred fountain (something is not right??) Hermit entertains them with stories of saints and popes and Hail Marys before and after each story Archimago (36) A messenger of Morpheus puts them to sleep a deadly sleep Hermit goes into his study magick books to conjure up troublesome dreams Evokes evil spirits Plutos grisly Dame (Persepine patron of witchcraft) and Demogorgon all tremble in fear of him Calls sprights takes 2, sends one on an errand, the other remains with him The (mini) Descent into the Underworld (37-45) First sprite on mission to Morpheus to get a bad dream Perpetual darkness and silence damp, dark, night covers Morpheus while he is sleeping Morpheus house locked gates, dogs on guard to keep care, the enemy of sleep, away Sprite gets in and finds Morpheus fast asleep cant wake him Threatens him with the name of Hecate Morpheus begins to quake, angry, asks why he came sent by Archimago for fit false dreams, that can delude the sleepers sent (i.e. senses) (l. 387) Morpheus = a god still obeyed and sprite on his way with the dream Other Spright - transformed to resemble lady Una The Dream (46-48) Dream for RCK taught sprite to act like Una Erotic dreams believes the lady is lying beside him and wants to learn about lustful play Venus brings Una to his bed - the chastest flower has now become a paramour Graces seem to be singing a call to the pleasures of the marriage bed (i.e. sex) (49-52) Wakes up face to face with Una offers him a kiss Angered - wants to hit her, but gets control of himself wants to put her to the test of truth she weeps to stir up his pity for her noble blood and tender youth Pleads for his pity cannot help how she feels about him She deserves to die- she knows, her life is in his hands After all, he is the reason that she is not at home now (????) 53-55 Assures her of his respect she must be telling truth - not told an untruth yet - apologises for the grief he has given her Sprites mission foiled - goes to lie down

RCK concludes: Una is very frivolous Not worthy of his devotion Goes back to sleep - same erotic dream troubling him