What are Spenser's aims in designing The Faerie Queene, and how far does he achieve it in Book One?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Edmund Spenser wrote The Faerie Queene, he faced an enormous challenge. He wrote in the language of Geoffrey Chaucer, as a compliment not only to this other author, but also to the era of medieval ideals. He wanted to inspire people to acts in the ways of chivalry again. He hoped to influence people in their actions—but he also influenced several famous writers.

Spenser also endeavored to present a picture of what he believed the best, most ideal England would look like. And he used allegory.

There are two levels of allegory present. One level examines the moral, philosophical, and religious...The second level is the particular, which focuses on the political, social, and religious... 

Spenser accomplished a great deal. On the literary front, he wrote an epic in the manner of the early Greeks: Homer and Virgil. He brought into vogue the...

(The entire section contains 438 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team