Consider The Faerie Queene as an allegory.

The Faerie Queene as an allegory.- Literature Xpres

In Book I of Faerie Queene, as in other books, spent, shown the interaction of virtues and vices, and finally the triumph of virtue. He thought that this fight between vice and virtue could better be expressed through allegories because moral instruction rendered plainly might be unpleasant for the readers.

 The Faerie Queene contains different allegories:

 (a) Moral and spiritual allegory: This allegory deals with the action and interaction of virtues ind vices. The good characters stand for the various virtues and the bad characters stand for the corresponding vices. The Red Cross Knight stands for Holiness, and Lady Una, Truth, Goodness and Wisdom Her parents symbolize Human race, and the Drag on who has imprisoned them stands for evil. The mission of Holiness is to help truth fight against Evil and thus regain its rightful place in the human heart.
Book I of the epic may be interpreted in another way. The adventures of the characters represent the rehearsal of the history of man-kind, including man's defeat and enthrallment by Satan in the Gar-den of Eden and eventual deliverance through Christ's encounter and finally, defeat of Satan.

(b) Religious allegory: This allegory deals with the important religious events of the age. For example, the Reformation of Churches might be interpreted allegorically. The Red Cross Knight stands for the reformed Church of England, fighting the corruption, Pride and manifold evils of Papacy, Paganism and Catholicism. The parents of Lady Una represent Humanity and the foul Dragon who has imprisoned them is the Pope of Hu-Rome. Archimago symbolizes the hypocrisy of Papacy.

 The mission of Una (Truth) is to restore her parents to freedom and in her encounter, she is helped by the Red Cross Knight. in other words, the people of England (the followers of the reformed Church) had to struggle against the evil and corruptions of the Catholic Church in order to restore the true Church of England.

 (c) Personal and Political allegory: Spenser wrote his epic especially for the glory of Queen Elizabeth and her courtiers, many of whom were his personal friends. The Queen was the pride and glory of England. So, in Spenser's epic she is Gloriana, the Fairy Queen, who sets various adventures to her knights, symbolizing the courtiers of the Queen of England. 

Spenser is sometimes criticized for mixing different kinds of allegories, all confused and obscure. But we must remember that he was not a poet turned reformer. He is more interested in his art than in the teachings of morality. He used allegory because it was the fashion he days. But Spenser is admired more as a painter in verse and a master musician than an allegorist.

Consider The Faerie Queene as an allegory. Consider The Faerie Queene as an allegory. Reviewed by Literature Xpress on Saturday, November 17, 2018 Rating: 5

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