Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Essay

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I come to this conclusion (or to The Faerie Queene's non-conclusion), however, with my ear still cocked to Berger's warning: what we hear in Spenser's magnum opus as argument—as assertion, refutation, judgment, revelation, demonstration, or any other of those rhetorical certainties we so often attribute to Spenser's poetry—cannot be taken as "Spenser's" or even "the poem's" settled opinion, but rather must be viewed skeptically as one of the discourses that, like dummies at a ventriloquists' contest, voice the competing desires that prompt their speaking. In his challenge to Paul Alpers' thesis that Spenser's stanzas are "modes of address by the poet to the reader," Berger argues that "Alpers misdescribes the transaction as an empirical one between the author and actual readers, whereas I take it to be a virtual or .ctive transaction, one that the poem actively represents and subtly criticizes, and therefore one that...

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This section contains 1,115 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Faerie Queene Study Guide
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Epics for Students
The Faerie Queene from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.