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Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Essay | Critical Essay #12

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Critical Essay #12

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 1,113 words
(approx. 4 pages 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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