Spenser’s treatment of good and evil in The Faerie Queene Book 1, Canto I


Dear Students, How are you doing? Hope everything is going fine. Today i am come back here with the another latent blog post. I am going to discuss on Spenser’s treatment of good and evil in the faerie queene Book 1, Canto I. Hope you will enjoy my discussion on good and evil in the faerie queene Book 1, Canto I

Good And Evil in The faerie queene by Edmund Spenser

The epic The faerie queene, by Edmund Spenser has shown the interaction between good and evil virtues and vices. Spenser thought that this fight can better be expressed though allegory because moral lesion rendered plainly might be unpleasant for readers.

The good and evil’s conflict has been depicted by means of characters who are divided into two hostile groups. The faerie queene highlights the struggle between the Roman Catholics headed by Queen Mary of Scots, who stands for evil and English Protestants headed by Queen Elizabeth who stands for good.

Good characters and Bad Characters in The faerie queene

To display the enimity between good and evil as well as the enimity between the Catholics and the protestants, Spenser has drawn good characters as well as bad characters. Among the good characters in this poem, we can get the picture of Red Cross Knight, Una, The Dwarf and Una’s parents. Among the bad characters we have got the picture of Monster’s Error, Archimago, Duessa or Fidessa etc. As shown Spenser, The Red Cross Knight had to fight with the monster of Error and becomes victorious after a downfall encounter.

Una Journey To Queen Glorinia /Queeen Elizabeth of England

At the very beginning of this poem, we see that Una is the daughter of the king whose country has been captured by the Dragon and whose own life is now in danger from evil as well as the wild animal. Una is maiden who goes to Queen Glorinia /Queeen Elizabeth of England to seek help in saving her father’s kingdom from the Dragon. Queen Gloriana has assigned the task to the Red Cross Knight who willingly undertakes to do it.

Fight between knight and the monster of Error

On the way to the country  of Una, they were going to thought a wood, he or they found himself/themselves before a cave. This was the cave of monster Error, a horrible creature with the face of Woman and the hind part a serpent. There was a terrible fight between knight and the monster of Error. At one point of fighting, the knight found himself in the tight grip of the monster’s figure tail:

“Half like a serpent horribly displaide 

But th’ other halfe did woman’s shape retaine

Most loathsom, Fitthie, Foule and full of vile disdaine”

Now lady Una shouted to him to show his bravery. She urged him to have faith in himself and in Jesus Christ and to fight bravely. Being inspired by the lady, the knight fought with redoubled vigor and courage. He was somehow able to release himself from the grip of the Monster’s tail. He then pressed the monster’s throat with such force that she threw out a lot of filth from her mouth. Black poison  and big limps of flesh and raw meat came out from for belly monster had many young one which had all taken shelter inside her mouth when the knight had entered the cave.

Adventure of the Red Cross knight

These little creatures also now emerged from the monster’s mouth. Ultimately the knight succeeded in cutting of the monster’s head and killing her. Her offspring now began to drink the blood which was flowing from here large wound. They drank so much blood that their bodies swelled with it and their bellies burst open with the consequence that they all died. Thus evil was killed by evil. This was the allegorical purpose of the first adventure of the Red Cross knight.

Then the battle between good and evil is held in the knight’s encounter with Archimago a magician. Apparently, Archimago a magician seems to be holy person but indeed he is an extreme evil. He keeps himself on the move in the service of the devil. Out of an evil design, he offers them night’s longings.

They take this old man to be a reveled hermit and accept his offer. But after they have gone to sleep, he starts to work. Some magic spells. He conjures up  two evil spirits and seads one to the kingdom of Morpheus, god of sleep to borrow a false dream.

Meanwhile, Archimago has transformed the second spirit into the image of lady Una. In the false dream the imitator lady offer’s her passion for him. The knight is moved by her charms and tender words but virtuously he refuses her advances and returns to his rest. For better understanding, you may take watch the following YouTube Video which has described the good and evil in the epic poem The Faerie Queene Book 1

What do you think? Comment below:

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