What do each of the characters represent in The Faerie Queene?

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The subject matter of the epic poem The Faerie Queen, by Edmund Spenser, stems largely from Arthurian legends, so we can take some of our cues from there when we look for insight into what Spenser’s characters might represent. The poem contains supernatural elements and figures in order to convey allegory, which contains layers of hidden meaning. Spenser utilized these “pastoral” elements as a framework for his characters. It’s important to note that Spenser also used elements of the Protestant religion alongside classical mythology and pagan symbolism, which were used harmoniously to impart these deeper meanings. Thinking about this will help us to better understand what the figures, or characters, represent.

There are three categories to consider when defining Spenser’s allegorical representations: moral, religious, and political. For example, the Lion represents reason (moral) and reformation (religious) as embodied by Henry VIII (political). The Dragon represents sin (moral),...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 484 words.)

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