Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Essay

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In this essay, Charles Ross examines Spenser's use of social practices and values in The Faerie Queene and how he addresses the questions of tolerating others customs and staying true to one's own beliefs.

The decrees of society are temporary ones. —

Nabokov

In the first half of his Faerie Queene, published in 1590, Edmund Spenser generally looks to the distant past for those values that would fashion a gentleman to the ideals of chivalry. By the time he published the second installment of his poem in 1596, Spenser seems to have struggled more openly with the relationship between social practice and values: Should one tolerate customs of which one disapproves? What can be done when others condemn what one believes is right?

The allegory of Book VI, the legend of courtesy, foregrounds these questions. The hero of this section of Spenser's romantic epic is Sir Calidor, charged by the Faerie...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 833 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Faerie Queene Study Guide
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The Faerie Queene from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.