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Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Essay | Critical Essay #5

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.
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Critical Essay #5

Spenser adopted the archaic mode of chivalric romance both for its essentially arbitrary form and to allow him to claim the authority of the past for those virtues he was keen to convey as guides for the future. But other people's customs represent formidable obstacles, because they too can claim the authority of the past. How can a reformer justify change without generating an uncontrollable force that can destroy the reformation process? To illustrate this issue, the custom of the castle motif operates as a dialectical structure in which social issues may take narrative form without our resorting to the ethical habit "of ranging everything in the antagonistic categories of good and evil" with the result that "what is bad belongs to the Other." The custom of the castle raises, as Jameson phrases it, "in symbolic form, issues of social change and counterrevolution."

There is, therefore, no bright...

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This section contains 1,396 words
(approx. 5 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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