Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 285 pages of information about Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I.

371.  DROWND IN SLEEPIE NIGHT.  The phrase modifies “body,” or is equivalent to “while I was drowned in sleep.”

382.  IN A LIVING WELL, in a well of running water.  This well signifies the healing power of Christianity. John, iv, 14.  In Spenser’s story this well is never found, and the wretched couple are never restored to human shape.

404.  ALL PASSED FEARE, all fear having passed.


(Canto II)

1.  How does the knight feel and act while under Archimago’s spell? 2.  What becomes of Una? 3.  How does Archimago plan to deceive her? 4.  Tell the story of the lovers turned into trees. 5.  Who was Sansfoy? 6.  Describe the appearance and character of Duessa. 7.  What did she have to do with Fradubio and Fraelissa? 8.  What was the old belief about the penance of witches? 9.  How only could the lovers be restored to their human shape?  Was it done? 10.  Who were St. George, Phoebus, Titan, Tithonius? 11.  Explain the reference to Chaunticlere in l. 6.

12.  Find examples of alliteration in xix; of balance in xxxvii; and of Latinizing in xix; xxxvi; xxxviii, and xl.

13.  Paraphrase in your own words ll. 111, 134-135, 162 (giving two interpretations); 335, 386-387.

14.  What figure of speech is used in xiii, xvi, and xx?

15.  Study the rich word-painting in the description of sunrise in vii.  Find other examples of this poet’s use of “costly” epithets.

16.  Scan the following passages:  148, 174, 178, 193, and 299.

17.  Find example of tmesis (separation of prep. from ob.) in xlv.

18.  What is the difference between the two wells in xliii?

19.  To whom do the pronouns in ll. 174, 175 refer?

20.  What is the case of heavens in l. 193? of Sarazin in l. 217?

21.  What words are omitted in ll. 188, 313, 398?


I. The Plot: Una wandering in quest of her Knight is guarded by a Lion.  With difficulty they gain entrance to the cottage of Corceca and her daughter Abessa, the paramour of Kirkrapine.  The latter is killed by the Lion.  Fleeing the next day, Una falls in with Archimago disguised as the Redcross Knight.  They journey on and meet a second Saracen knight, Sansloy.  In the fight which ensues Archimago is unhorsed and his deception unmasked.  The Lion is slain, and Una becomes the captive of Sansloy.

II. The Allegory: 1.  Truth finds temporary protection in Reason, or Natural Honor (Lion), and with its help puts a stop to the Robbing of Churches (Kirkrapine), which is connived at by Blind Devotion (Corceca) and Secret Sin (Abessa).  Truth is then associated with Hypocrisy under the guise of Holiness, but it is soon unmasked by Lawlessness (Sansloy), with which Truth is forced into an unnatural alliance.

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Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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