Spenser himself stated that the main goal of his epic was to instruct young men in the ways of virtuous living. To this end, he uses the examples of several noble knights to work through the various virtues, overcoming temptations and learning the proper behavior associated with the virtue, as allegorical stand-ins for the young readers themselves. Spenser allowed his own fervent Protestantism to give The Faerie Queene a distinctly anti-Catholic bias. Catholic "heresies" are depicted in the person of Grantorto, the monster Errour, and the failure of the knight Burbon. Each of these episodes serves to promulgate the superiority of Protestant Christianity over Roman Catholicism. In many ways, Spenser's view of women as depicted in the epic is ahead of its time.
Reading and Not Reading “The Faerie Queene”: Spenser and the Making of Literary Criticism
Write a note on the character of archimago in spenser's The Faerie Queene Book I - LITERATUREMINI
Of the Elizabethan poets, the one who has been placed within a recognisable thought movement is Edmund Spenser, usually described as a Neoplatonist. This label, as formerly used, left out the Hermetic—Cabalist core which modern scholarship has revealed within Renaissance Neoplatonism, as formulated by Ficino and Pico. Notwithstanding the immense literature on Spenser, his Neoplatonism has not yet been tackled on modern lines, though much has recently been brought to light of which the older Spenser criticism never dreamed. Alastair Fowler has argued for intricate numerological patterns in The Faerie Queene, and for an astral or planetary pattern in its themes.
He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of nascent Modern English verse, and is often considered one of the greatest poets in the English language. Edmund Spenser was born in East Smithfield, London, around the year ; however, there is still some ambiguity as to the exact date of his birth. His parenthood is obscure, but he was probably the son of John Spenser, a journeyman clothmaker. In , he became for a short time secretary to John Young , Bishop of Rochester.
The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it is one of the longest poems in the English language; it is also the work in which Spenser invented the verse form known as the Spenserian stanza. In Spenser's "Letter of the Authors", he states that the entire epic poem is "cloudily enwrapped in Allegorical devices", and that the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to "fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline". This royal patronage elevated the poem to a level of success that made it Spenser's defining work. Book I is centered on the virtue of holiness as embodied in the Redcrosse Knight. Largely self-contained, Book I can be understood to be its own miniature epic.