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Discuss Faerie Queene as a Univarsal Allegory

Discuss Faerie Queene as a Univarsal Allegory



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Published by: mahifti on Apr 03, 2010
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The Faerie Queene By Edmund Spencer 
 Edmund Spencer 
lived in the age of transition when manyrevolutionary changes were taking place and nothing was settled. He lived in post- Reformation England, which had recently replaced Roman Catholicism with Protestantism (specifically, Anglicanism) as the national religion. There were still many Catholics living in England, and, thus, religious protest was a part of Spenser's life. In his work,
The Faerie Qeene
 , he has presented his ideas of what constitutes an ideal England. Spenser has used Biblical allegory to tell his story,but the poem is much more than just a religious poem. Its purpose was to educate,to turn a young man into a gentleman. He wanted to make the Faerie Qeene a faithful mirror of the spirit of the age. Spenser saw himself as a medievalist, but cognizant of his audience, he used the modern pronunciation of the Renaissance. He also thought that he could use his text as a way to recall the chivalry of a past era, and thus, inspire such actions again. Spenser notes that his structure followsthose of Homer and Virgil.
 An explanation of the reason why Spencer adopted allegory as a method of communicating his thoughts:
 Allegory seems to have had a special attraction for Spencer. In fact, Spencer¶s mind, at once meditative and imaginative, and  sensitive to the appearance as well as the significance of things, was perfectly suited to the allegorical form. In fact, by covering with the veil of allegory he could disguise the essential opposition of things, and thus present faithfully the complex picture of his times. So, naturally, he turned to allegory to wring out of himself and to make evidence to others the fullest measure of significance perceptible in theoutward shows in the world. In a letter to Sir John Walter Raleigh, He explained 
the purpose and structure of the poem
: It is an allegory, a story whose characters and events nearly all have a specific symbolic meaning.
The poem's setting is a mythical "Faerie land," ruled by the Faerie Queene.Spenser sets forth in the letter that this "Queene" represents his own monarch,Queen Elizabeth.
is basically a technique of vision seeking to convey abstract and  philosophical truths through concrete examples. In the sixteenth century it was theopinion of Puritan England that every literary masterpiece should not only giveentertainment, but should also teach some moral or spiritual lesson.
"It professes," Says Mr. Church, "to be a veiled exposition of moral philosophy."
 It may also bedefined as a story with a hidden moral lesson. Its purpose is to convey some moral and religious truth in a delightful way. The readers are instructed and delighted at one and the same time. They convey metaphorically some spiritual or ethical ideas.
There are two levels of allegory present in the Faerie Queene.
ne level examines the moral, philosophical, and spiritual and isrepresented by the Red Cross Knight, who represents all Christians. It dealswith the action and interaction of virtues and vices. Religious allegory dealswith the important religious events of the age.
The second level is the particular, which focuses on the political, social, inwhich the Faerie Queene represents Elizabeth I.
 s the more important purpose of the Faerie Queene is its allegory, themeaning behind its characters and events, so there is a deep underlying 
spiritual and moral allegory
in the fairy Queene.
This moral and spiritual allegory mingles with the
religious allegory
of the book.
The good characters of the poem stand for the various virtues, while the bad characters stand for the corresponding vices, whose intrigues and warfare against each other  symbolize the struggle of the human soul after perfection. The Redcross Knight, for example, personifies the single private virtue of holiness, while Prince Arthur  stands for that perfect manhood which combines all the moral qualities; Unarepresents abstract truth, while Gloriana symbolizes the union of all the virtues in perfect womanhood. The Redcross Knight 
who is appointed by the Faerie Queene
to assist lady Una in releasing her parents from the prison of Dragon is the

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