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Study Guide

Introduction & Overview of The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

This Study Guide consists of approximately 187 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Faerie Queene.
This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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The Faerie Queene Summary & Study Guide Description

The Faerie Queene Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser.

Introduction

The Faerie Queene is a romantic epic, the first sustained poetic work since Geoffrey Chaucer. In this work, Spenser uses the archaic language of Chaucer as a way to pay homage to the medieval poet. Spenser saw himself as a medievalist, but cognizant of his audience, he uses the modern pronunciation of the Renaissance. Spenser uses 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. There are two levels of allegory present. One level examines the moral, philosophical, and religious and is represented by the Red Cross Knight, who represents all Christians. The second level is the particular, which focuses on the political, social, and religious, in which the Faerie Queene represents Elizabeth I. Spenser was not born to a wealthy household, as were so many of the other great Renaissance poets, such as Philip Sidney. This fact is important, since his work is colored by this lack of wealth. Spenser needed a patron to provide for his support while he worked, and patrons expect that the artists they support will write .attering words. This was certainly the case with Spenser's work, The Faerie Queene, which is meant to celebrate Elizabeth I and, oftentimes, flatter her. In this work, Spenser presents his ideas of what constitutes an ideal England. 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 influenced many of the poets who followed, including John Milton, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, and Lord Tennyson.

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This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Faerie Queene Study Guide
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The Faerie Queene from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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