Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene is a remarkable poem remembered for its poignant scenes, both its laudable

and loathsome characters, and its status as a literary masterpiece. Each book surveys a different virtue and follows a new hero through challenges and tribulation. However, almost each physical character and event corresponds with moral, religious and political character and event of Spenser’s time. The Red Cross Knight’s encounter with the monster Error in Canto 1 of Book 1 is one of such intriguing incidents. Spenser begins his epic with the adventures of the Red Cross Knight who was deputed by the Fairy Queen namely Gloriana to rescue Una’s captive parents from captivity in their castle, which is beseiged by an evil, destructive dragon. On his journey this courageous knight is accompanied by fair lady Una. On their travels Una and the knight have to put up with many unforeseen setbacks such as a storm. After having sought shelter, they are completely lost in the forest. They ‘cannot find that path, which was first showne, But wander to and fro in wayes unknowne,…’ (Bk I, i, 10 4-5). Eventually, Red Cross knight and Una happen on a cave, in which the serpentine, lighthating monster Error lives. The lady cautions the Knight saying, “Be well aware,………. Least suddaine mischiefe ye too rash provoke:   The danger hid, the place unknowne and wilde, Breedes dreadfull doubts: Oft fire is without smoke, And perill without show: therefore your stroke, Sir Knight, with-hold, till further triall made.” Una’s dwarf, who is wise and commonsensical, says that the wood is not a place for living men: those who are half-living, who have surrendered their ‘force’, fall foul of Error. Ignoring her warnings, Red Crosse enters and is attacked by the terrible beast, Error. At one point in the course of his fighting, the Knight found himself in the tight grip of the monster’s huge tail. At this time Lady Una shouted to the Knight to show his bravery. She urged him to have faith in himself and in Jesus Christ and to fight bravely, “Now now Sir Knight, shew what ye bee, Add faith unto your force, and be not faint. Strangle her, else she sure will strangle thee”. Inspired by the lady’s words, the Knight fought with redoubled vigour and courage. He was 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 lumps of flesh and raw meat came out from her belly. The monster had many young ones which had all taken shelter inside her mouth when the Knight had entered the cave. These little dragons also now emerged from the monster’s mouth. Ultimately, the Knight succeeded in cutting off the monster’s head and killing her. Error's young then drink her blood until they burst and die. In this way the Red Cross Knight

reflects the light. but before he is united to the truth he is still lost and can be easily deceived. When we are shown Error it is quite clear from the description that Spenser gives us. against Queen Elizabeth and Anglicanism. The Red Cross Knight who is appointed by the Fairy Queen to assist Lady Una in freeing her parents from the prison of Dragon represents the individual Christian. Holiness overcomes Error. goodness and wisdom and her parents symbolize Humanity held by Evil represented by the foul Dragon. Christian faith.i. held in subjection by the mighty force of evil. Satan takes many forms. Holiness as represented by the Knight of the Red Cross. . Again. pride and manifold evils of Papacy. concentrated and committed to his responsibilities. foul and contemptible.20).” Red Cross Knight’s encounter with the Monster Error is of great significance. It suggests that to defeat the mighty force of evil is not easy. Most of these villains are meant by Spenser to represent one thing in common: the Roman Catholic Church." These papers represent Roman Catholic propaganda that was put out in Spenser's time. So. The mission of Holiness is to champion the cause of Truth and regain the right of human race. When Redcrosse chokes the beast. The Knight of the Red Cross is St. which had broken away from the Catholic Church under King Henry VIII and his daughter Queen Elizabeth I. The Christian (Redcrosse) may be able to defeat these obvious and disgusting errors. not easily but through a great deal of hardships and much peril to its own life. The darkness is evil and full of lies that prevent knowledge from running free while the armor. has first to seek its own perfection through the trial of its strength against its many adversaries. religious as well as political issues of the day are intermingled in the allegory. which is truth. determination and life risking attitude.passes his first test with a win. and exposes the hideous monster. It has first to encounter with Error. that here we encounter a first version of the Dragon the Knight is to fight at the end. the Church of England. there are spiritual and moral conceptions which blend and fuse in each other. and this is his first disguise. It requires great labour. Thus. Behind these facts. whose den is the human heart which it infests. he must seek and obtain the Truth of Una and defeat all the evil forces. all the way to his mission the Knight has to be careful. And proved your strength on a strong enimie. fighting corruption. Error. courage. Lady Una stands for truth. on the search for Holiness. manifold. Una is representative of the “True” Church. "Her vomit full of bookes and papers was (I. Lady Una greets the Knight for his victory over the monster Error: “Well worthy be you of that Armorie Wherein ye have great glory wonne this day. George or the Reformed Church of England or England as a militant spiritual force. Paganism and Catholicism. Spenser writes. which is Catholicism. In order for Red Crosse to make the full transition and become a true Christian. the fight of the Red Cross Knight with the monster Error represents the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism.

Hypocrisy gets the chance to mislead Holiness. founded on learning cannot stand against holiness. So. Error or Antichrist is not powerful enough to dismay Holiness armoured by the power of Truth. Holiness must be grounded in Truth in order to remain pure and immaculate in the world. That is. When Truth and Holiness are separated. however. Thus the separation of Una (Truth) from the Knight (Holiness) symbolizes the danger of the English Church against the hypocrisy and plots of the Roman Catholicism. . the force of Truth fortifies Holiness. in the mission of Red Cross Knight (True Religion) and Una (Truth) we have seen that so long as Truth and Holiness or true religion are united.Thus. Error (Antichrist).

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