The Faerie Queene

Fairy Queen is a famous epic of Edmund Spenser published in 1590 during the sixteenth century. The poet craftily impersonates The Renaissance and Reformation elements. The poet also presents different types of allegory. Faerie Land” is signified to hold a figurative significance in the real world. Each character in Spenser’s epic can be referenced somehow back to the church, political climate, or disputes and spirituality of his era. Though she never appears in the poem, the poem Faerie Queene represents Queen Elizabeth and her castle is the ultimate goal or destination of many of the poem’s characters. The poem is written in what began to be identified as the Spenserian stanza: eight lines of 10 syllables followed by one 12-syllable line, rhyming ababbcbcc. One of the most prominent symbolic episodes in The Faerie Queene is Redcrosse’s fight with the Error. Redcrosse represents the knight of Holiness in the story and this protagonist gets his name from the blood-red cross emblazoned on his shield. Error, the Red Cross Knight’s first adversary, a monster that lives in the wandering woods is portrayed as a frightful creature with the features of a woman and the hind part of a serpent resembles to be a biblical reference back to the tale of Adam and Eve. Eve, having erred by having an apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, was coaxed to do so by Satan in the appearance of a serpent. 

Error hates the light and the stanza “Ay wont in desert darkness to remaine” makes it evident. Redcrosse makes the light enter the cave because it ricochets off his armor but he is also metamorphically the light. Error has no interest in the light he has to offer and only wants to remain evil or lack of faith. The clash among the Knight and the beast proved to be the most intense one. At one point in the course of his clash, the Knight discovered himself in the choking grasp of the monster’s huge tail. At this point, Lady Una shouted to the Knight to prove his courage. She urged him to have faith in himself and Jesus Christ and to battle valiantly. Motivated by the lady’s words, the Knight attacked with strengthened power and bravery. He was able to rescue himself from the hold of the monster’s tail. He then clasped the monster’s throat with such restraint that she threw out a lot of filth from her mouth. Black poison and big lumps of flesh and raw meat came out from her gut. The beast had many young ones that had all sought safety inside her mouth when the Knight had entered the cave and these little offsprings had now emerged from the monster’s mouth. Finally, the Knight succeeded in splitting off the monster’s head and killing her. Her offspring then began to drink the blood which was oozing from her with it, and their bellies burst open which resulted in their death. This was the prime venture of the Red Cross Knight and Lady Una felicitated him on his achievement. 

Behind these simple facts, there are spiritual and ethical interpretations that combine and merge in each other. The Redcross Knight stands for Holiness. Lady Una stands for Truth and her parents symbolize Humanity. The foul Dragon is a symbol of the Devil or Satan. The purpose of holiness is to champion the belief of motivation of honesty and retrieve the virtue of the human race, held in bondage by the powerful force of darkness. To conclude we can say that Spenser has impersonated The Redcrosse Knight’s clash with the Monster Error with exceptional talent. He describes the blunders and risks that plagued humanity in the world and explains how they may be overcome in the course of life and endures the popularity and universality of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

Categories: Literature

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