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May 28, 2011

The Faerie Queene as a political Allegory

The Faerie Queene is Spenser’s masterpiece. This would have secured for him the first place among Elizabethans other than the playwrights. 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. Spenser is seen to be a professor of morals and assumes the grave air of preacher. He wrote a vast allegory in order to fashion a gentleman of noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline. In line with Aristo he created a fairy like chivalry but wanted each of his knights to represent one of the twelve private moral virtues, as Aristo and advised.

In the first book the allegory id continuous and the moral is prominent. But in the later books both are obscured and the romance dominant. 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. Moreover he suggests Leicester, Elizabeth’s favourite. Arthegall is justice personified and represents Lord Grey of Wilton. The allegorical story is thus been moral and political. The adventures of the Red cross Knight represent the alternatives offered by Protestantism.


  1. I thought you might enjoy machinima film about the folk song Scarborough Fair
    along with my speculative conjecture that this may have arisen from Spencer's Faerie Queene
    Best Wishes.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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