The Faerie Queene

by Edmund Spenser

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Summary and Analysis: Book I, Cantos ix-xii

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New Characters Charissa: Dame Celia’s daughter, who is pregnant.

Contemplation: A man who fasts and prays to lower the effects of his body upon his spirit, and who gives Redcross much information.

Dame Caelia: Runs a holy house for rejuvenation with her three daughters.

Despair: A demon that removes all hope from men.

Dragon: A fearsome creature devastating Una’s land.

Fidelia and Speranza: Dame Celia’s virginal daughters.

King: The lord of the land the dragon was decimating and father to Una.

Mercy: The leader of an order of goodly Protestants who give aid and succor to those who need it.

Messenger: A minion who turns out to be the Archimago.

Obedience: A squire in Dame Caelia’s house.

People: The people of the Kingdom of the King and Queen.

Queen: The King’s wife and Una’s mother.

Seven Men: Each has a charge from Mercy to dole out various kinds of support and help.

Sir Terwin: A Knight who was in love with a Lady who liked to see him in the throes of anguish.

The Porter, Zele: A minor character at the house.

The Trevisan: The fearful Knight, fleeing from something terrible and a once-companion of Sir Terwin.

Timon: The foster-father of the Prince who has freed the Redcross Knight.

Summary Canto ix: Una pleads with the Prince to tell his name so that he can forever be honored in story and lore for his success in defeating the Giant and Duessa, and for freeing the Redcross Knight. However, the Prince announces that this he cannot do, as he does not know his lineage. The Prince reveals that he was raised by a foster father, a Faerie Knight (like the Redcross Knight) named Timon who taught him martial arts and virtuous lore. The great sorcerer Merlin visited often to oversee his tutoring, but although Merlin confirmed that Arthur was a Prince he would not reveal the brave young man’s lineage.

Lady Una questions why Merlin would send him on adventures in Faerie land, and the Prince replies, “Full hard it is to read aright / The course of heavenly cause, or understand / The secret meaning of th’eternal might, / That rules mens wayes, and rules the thoughts of living wight.”

This discussion of fate and God is similar to Una’s discourse when she thought the Redcross Knight was dead, although Prince Arthur emphasizes that God determines chance and fortune. The Prince, like Una, then becomes more and more enraged as he tells his story. Although previously good and calm, his story becomes more and more emotional. His rage first developed when he was still young, but Timon bade him stay good. However, the young Prince was unable to control his confused emotions, and so he caused trouble, disdained joy, and laughed when others cried. His cold reactions and loose life continued for many years until one day, while he was sleeping in the grass, a royal maid appeared. She told him to love her, and he complied. As she disappeared, she told him that she was the Queen of the Faeries. Upon waking, the young Prince’s dismay at her vanishing took all of his playful coldness and loose life out of him. He vowed to do good labor and find her, and has been searching since with her image in his mind.

Una tells the Prince that his case was not entirely unusual, and the Redcross Knight reassures him that his valor and goodness would make him worthy even of the Faerie Queen, should he manage to find her.

The Knights exchange gifts of friendship. Prince Arthur gives a diamond...

(This entire section contains 5401 words.)

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box containing a potion that will heal any wound, and the Redcross Knight gives a book of religious testament. Then they set out on their separate quests, Prince Arthur to find the Faerie Queen and the Redcross Knight to conquer the dragon ravishing Una’s land.

Una wishes to let the Knight recover from his ordeal in the Giant’s dungeon, but as they ride they see a Knight fleeing from something, riding with fearful backward glances and a bloodless, pained expression. He has a rope tied around his neck and no helmet. The Redcross Knight inquires what causes such distress, but this only terrifies the Knight further. The fearful Knight begs the Redcross Knight not to delay him, but he is forced to stay and tell his story.

The terrified Knight says that he used to ride with a Knight named Sir Terwin who loved a Lady who liked to see him languish and lament after her. As they rode together, they met a demon named Despair who infected them with hopelessness. Despair provided Sir Terwin with a rusted knife and the Knight with a rope. The Knight was more scared of death than of Despair, and so he fled from the scene. He entreats the Redcross Knight to let him flee because no man knows if weakness to despair lurks in his heart, and Despair persuades his victims well.

The Redcross Knight ignores this warning and asks the Knight, whose name we learn is Trevisan, to guide him to this demon. Trevisan agrees, but only if he can flee rather than confront the face of Despair again.

They ride to a barren, lifeless land and into a cave where a greasy-haired, emaciated man in rags sits in his own blood, which still wells from the wound caused by a rusted knife. The Redcross Knight burns with the desire to avenge this man and the terror of Trevisan, and advances while challenging the villainous demon to pay a debt of his own blood in exchange for Sir Terwin’s.

The demon replies that Sir Terwin’s own mind drove him to kill himself. The Redcross Knight stands by his principle that no man may lengthen or shorten his life beyond what it should be, and that one cannot ignore the death destiny has ordained. Undeterred, the demon tells the Redcross Knight that his misadventures and ordeals, most recently in the dungeon, are signs that death calls for him already. The demon reminds him that he has perjured the Lady Una’s chastity and fallen for an evil sorceress’s lies, and that he will probably acquire yet more sins if he continues to live. The demon concludes that “death is the end of woes.”

Affected by this undermining of his confidence, the Knight reviews his ugly acts and beliefs and begins to accept that he is an unworthy and sinful man. Then the demon, sensing his weakness, shows the Redcross Knight a painting of damned ghosts tortured by demons. The sight afflicts the Redcross Knight and he sees only death before him. The demon brings him instruments to kill himself: poisons, ropes, swords, and fire. Finally, the demon brings out a dagger and hands it to the Knight, whose hand shakes in fear and acceptance.

Una snatches the knife from the Knight’s hand and throws it to the ground while reproaching him for his weakness. She tells him to leave with her, feeble as he is, because he fights for justice and so cannot doubt himself without doubting justice, too. The Knight rises and follows her, and the demon tries to kill himself. However, the demon cannot die until his time is up, and so this attempted suicide fails like all the rest.

Canto x: Even given his prowess in battle, the Knight cannot and should not attribute any success to himself. A stanza on thanking the gods makes that clear at the start of Canto x. To heal him from his wounds and starvation, Una takes the exhausted Knight to a house of holiness. The goodly Dame Caelia runs the house with her three daughters. Fidelia and Speranza are virgins, but the third daughter Charissa has many children.

The Porter, Zele, opens the door for Una and the Redcross Knight and leads them to Dame Caelia. Dame Caelia immediately recognizes Una’s virtuous, heavenly bearing and welcomes them with open arms. She remarks on the strangeness of seeing an errant Knight in her house, and that “so few there bee, / That choose the narrow path, or seeke the right.” As she welcomes them, her two virtuous daughters enter. Dressed in all white, Fidelia carries a golden cup filled with wine and water, in which a serpent rests, and a book written in blood. Speranza, dressed in blue, has a silver anchor on her arm and stares up at heaven, praying.

Una greets the daughters and asks after Charissa. The daughters tell Una that Charissa is pregnant and so cannot come to welcome her. Dame Caelia calls a squire, Obedience, who takes the Knight to a lodge to rest and take off his armor. After they have rested, Una asks Fidelia to teach the Redcross Knight of her religion. Fidelia agrees to teach him “celestial discipline” and thereby open his eyes. She teaches out of the book written with blood, which contains thoughts “of God, of grace, of justice, of free will.”

This teaching changes the Knight’s perception: “such perfection of all heavenly grace, / That wretched world he gan for to abhore; / And mortall life gan loath, as thing forlorn.” Guilt for his wrongdoings make him wish to end his life, but Speranza comforts him and teaches him to take hold of her silver anchor. Distressed by her Knight’s anguish, Una asks Dame Caelia what to do. Dame Caelia advises her to counsel Patience, who can listen to whatever grief eats away at the Knight’s mind and heart.

The Knight fasts and dresses in sackcloth to repent his sins, and Speranza takes care of him. Penance, Remorse, and Repentance, Speranza’s handmaids, treat him to a strict way of life. Redcross groans and tears at his own flesh, and Una is so moved by his pain that she too tears her garments, but keeps her patience. Finally, true repentance reaches the Knight and he becomes calm.

Una then brings him to the pregnant Charissa, who is beautiful, graceful, and loving. Many children surround her. Charissa instructs the Knight in behavior and calls to an old woman, Mercy, to take care of him so that he “should never fall” and so “that Mercy in the end his righteous soule might save.” This old woman leads Redcross through a hospital for the poor and needy. Seven men provide all that any soul could need. Entertainment, lodging, food, drink, and useful clothing are given to those who need it, as well as grace and divine forgiveness. One man rescues prisoners and captives, while another comforts and heals the sick. Yet another aids and dresses corpses, while the last helps widows and orphans after the death of a loved one. All bow before Mercy, the leader of their order. Charissa is the founder.

The Redcross Knight stays at the hospital for a time to rest, and during this time Mercy instructs him in the seven jobs of the seven men so that Redcross can provide help to any who need it. During his time there, Redcross becomes “perfect” and learns how to lead a life of “holy righteousness, without rebuke or blame.”

Eventually, Mercy takes Redcross out of the hospital and brings him to a chapel in a hermitage. There, Redcross meets Contemplation, who ignores bodily needs to commune with divinity. His fasting and spiritual thought keep his physical being “low and chast” so that his mind can rule his spirit and stay good. Contemplation forces Redcross into forty days of fasting and praying before he shows him a steep path to a good city made of precious materials. Angels descend from heaven into that city. Breathless, Redcross inquires what city it is, and Contemplation responds that it is “the new Hierusalem, that God has built / For those to dwell in, that are chosen his.” Contemplation continues and tells Redcross that one day he will wash his hands of all bloodshed and sin and will become Saint George.

Redcross asks why he may not do that now, and Contemplation replies that he cannot forsake his promise to Una. First Redcross must complete his quest. During the conversation, Contemplation refers to Redcross as a Briton, not as a Faerie descendant. Redcross inquires why, and Contemplation responds that although Redcross does not know his own ancestry, he is descended from Saxon kings and was exchanged with a batch of Faerie children so that, even as a Briton, he could live in Faerie Land. Redcross thanks Contemplation for all the useful information.

After this divine episode, Redcross is blinded by the darkness of the earthly realm. He returns to Una, and together they continue their quest to restore her lands.

Canto xi: Una asks the now-recovered Redcross Knight to help free her captive parents. She takes him to her lands and points out the tower where her parents are prisoners. As she rejoices at being near her parents again, a roar fills the air and they spot the dragon lounging in the sun. The dragon’s size makes him resemble a hill rather than animal, a feature of the landscape rather than a foe to be defeated.

The Knight urges the Lady to out of the way and bravely turns to face the dragon. The dragon’s scales are so thick that no sword or spear can pierce them and as the dragon moves they make a clashing, ringing sound. His sail-like wings scare even the clouds away, “and all the heavens stood still amazed with threat.” The dragon’s tail is almost three furloughs long and has stingers at the end. However, the dragon’s mouth and claws are his most fearsome characteristics. He has three rows of teeth and sharp claws, and breathes fire. His eyes are full of rage as he approaches the Knight.

The Knight courageously charges the dragon, spear in hand, but the dragon’s scales turn the spear aside easily. The force of the blow, however, angers the dragon, who knocks the Knight over with his tail. The dragon has never felt such a powerful blow, though many Knights have tried to wound him. The dragon takes to the air and uses his massive claws to snatch the Knight, still astride his horse. The Knight struggles even in the air, and after much flying the dragon sets him down. The Knight runs at the dragon again with his spear and tries to hit his scaly neck. The spear slides down the body of the dragon and catches under his wing, in a soft spot where the spear rips into flesh and wounds the dragon. The dragon’s cry is like the sound of stormy seas.

The dragon reaches under his wing and breaks off the spear, and a river of blood floods the plain where they are fighting. His mighty tail wraps around the legs of the Knight’s horse, throwing him to the ground. Enraged at being immersed in the dragon’s blood, the Knight throws himself upon the dragon, hacking at him with his sword. However, the dragon’s scales are so strong that they do not even dent. The blows sting the dragon but do not wound him. Striving to escape the Knight, the dragon tries to fly away, but his wounded wing will not support him. The furious dragon breathes a tongue of fire that scorches and bakes the Knight inside his armor.

Pained and near death, the Knight wishes to die. However, directly behind him a spring bubbles up from the ground. In better times, it was known as the well of life, and it has healing and medicinal powers. The Knight falls into this spring and disappears.

The dragon claps his iron wings in victory, and the heart-stricken Una begins to pray. She prays all through the night and keeps a keen eye out looking for her brave fighter. She does not give up hope and so sees when the Knight rises up out of the well, whole and renewed. The Knight smites the dragon on the head so fiercely that he wounds him, although the narrator does not know how this could happen.

The dragon lashes out with his tail and one of his stingers pierces the Knight’s shield and lodges in his shoulder. But the Knight is more aware of his honor than of his body, and he continues to fight, hacking off part of the dragon’s tail. The dragon rises and descends on the Knight’s shield, clinging to it with both paws. The Knight bashes at the exposed parts of the dragon and succeeds in cutting off one paw entirely. The “hell-bred beast” throws back his head and belches fire, darkening the sky with his smoky breath and choking even heaven.

The heat of the flames drives the Knight backward, and he slips in the bloody muck and falls to the ground near a tree covered in beautiful, red apples. It is the tree of life, and although its twin tree, a bit further away, gives knowledge, this tree gives health and healing. Balm flowing from the tree saves the Knight from death by the dragon’s flames. He falls to the ground and is covered in its balm, and although he is slow to rise, he is being healed. Una watches fearfully from afar, not knowing what is going on. Another night passes before the Knight stands, and the wounded, exhausted dragon charges at him with mouth open, intending to swallow him.

The Knight plunges his sword into the soft, unshielded mouth of the dragon, and like a rocky cliff sliding into the sea the dragon falls. The Knight stands beside the dragon and Una runs to him and thanks him for defeating the monster.

Canto xii: When the dragon dies, the watchman on the tower calls out to the King and Queen, who have been prisoners for so many years. The King orders trumpets to sound and a feast prepared. The King and Queen bow before the Redcross Knight and a procession of dancing virgins, playing children, and music begins. They crown Una with a garland and gape at the Knight. Everyone stays away from the body of the dragon, but marvels at his size and invents scary attributes to the corpse, like fire in his eyes or a twitch in his talons.

The King presents endless gifts to the Knight and embraces Una. A feast begins, and when everyone is sated the King asks the Knight to tell his adventures. They listen and “lament his luckeless state, / And often blame the too importune fate, / That heapd on him so many wrathfull wreakes.” The King begs the Knight to enjoy a life of ease and leisure in their kingdom, but the Redcross Knight has promised six years service to the Faerie Queen, and so must decline.

With regret, the King says that the marriage of the Redcross Knight to Una must therefore wait six years. He explains that he had promised that whoever killed the dragon would have the hand of his daughter in marriage. He calls to Una, who enters looking like a fresh spring flower and appears more beautiful than ever.

Before she can speak, a messenger bearing letters runs into the room. He falls at the foot of the King and announces that the Knight cannot marry Una because he is already betrothed to Fidessa. Furthermore, since the Knight has made pledges sworn on burning altars, he belongs to Fidessa alive or dead. The King demands an explanation from the Knight.

The Knight tries to explain that Fidessa is really the enchantress Duessa, who fooled him while he was traveling. Una corroborates his story, saying that Duessa is a deceiving, lying woman, and that she guesses that this messenger is no messenger at all, but rather the Archimago in disguise. The messenger is thrown into a dungeon and Una and the Redcross Knight are bound to each other with secret vows and rites, and the celebrations continue.

However, the Redcross Knight must keep his vow, and so he returns to the Faerie Queen and Una is “left to mourn.”

Analysis Redcross endures many trials. First, Orgoglio’s dungeon subjects Redcross to mortification of the flesh and deprivation of the senses. Trapped in darkness, without food or stimulation, the dungeon denies Redcross any sensual experience but pain. He emerges from the dungeon like a corpse, but his trials are not through. His battered senses only represent one of several levels at which he must change in order to be holy.

Directly after surfacing from the dungeon, Redcross must battle with his emotions. The demon Despair represents this challenge. Redcross enters this snare because he is still subject to all kinds of errors—he doubts Trevisan’s strength and suspects Trevisan is weaker than he is. His stated reason for finding Despair is vengeance, but this recalls Sans joy, who clearly was in the wrong as Redcross now acts wrongly. Despair also knows secrets about Redcross and so can attack him at a very personal level. In many respects, Despair seems to be Redcross’ own guilty conscience and fearful thoughts. Despair argues that Redcross escaped the dungeon only through luck, without any mention of grace or divine Providence. The negative slant of Despair’s arguments and the immobile, fearful state that they induce in Redcross are reminiscent of his wish for death. Redcross has already called out for death once, and Despair merely augments this tendency with semi-logical arguments.

These personal attacks on Redcross are supported by a general philosophy about God and action. The possibility of sins accruing and never decreasing, dooming one more and more with every act, must be overcome by faith in God and God’s grace. Despair directly attacks Redcross’ weakest point, lack of faith. However, Redcross meets Despair while in the hands of Una. Una’s truth and simple faith are conveyed to Redcross in just a few words, and she takes him out of Despair’s cave. Una convinces Redcross because she tells him that if he acts for justice, then he can only doubt himself if he also doubts justice. Una provides an intellectual basis for Redcross’ faith, and thereby saves him. The very clear implication is that Redcross would have committed suicide if it were not for the grace of Una’s presence; had he met Despair prior to being reunited with Una, he would have succumbed. Despair’s arguments are only logical on the surface; they ignore and obfuscate important issues. Despair uses God’s judgment to invoke fear, but never mentions God’s mercy or divine grace. The best sophistic trick that Despair uses is to hide and deny anything positive.

These combined trials call Redcross’ very identity into question. He loses his armor, the symbol of himself as a Christian seeker. Although a valiant Knight, he cannot defend himself against either Duessa or Orgoglio. Redcross requires rescuing, which is a characteristic of damsels, not brave and strong Knights. When he emerges from the dungeon, he cannot even walk—even his humanity is called into question, for men walk the earth while creatures on four legs crawl. When Prince Arthur rescues Redcross, Redcross desires only death, not any part of life. Redcross is unable to save himself from the physical entrapment of Orgoglio’s dungeon or the mental collapse caused by Despair.

Only after this sort of self-demolition and the recognition of his own helplessness can Redcross recognize grace and be open to the true religion, Protestantism. Only after Redcross has been decimated can he be rebuilt as a true Protestant and a completely good man. This work happens at the House of Holiness, under the guidance of Charissa and Mercy. In the beginning of Canto x, Spencer has a stanza about grace being the assurance of victory, not strength. This is the lesson that Redcross has just learned. But he needs to also be cheered and strengthened to do battle with the dragon in Una’s land. That is the role of the House of Holiness—to remake and help Redcross to win his battle against the dragon. It is preparation for a better life with bigger challenges than ever before. In the House of Holiness, as opposed to the House of Pride, Redcross becomes clear about what his quest, his identity, and his religion are and should be.

Fidelia teaches Redcross about grace and sin, but this throws him into a state resembling that which Despair induced in him. Only the care of Speranza and her handmaids help him to reconcile with God, religion, and himself. The names of each woman help to indicate their role. Fidelia indicates fidelity, while Speranza is the Latin word for hope.

In these trials, for which salvation is the goal, Redcross must have endurance: the same quality that helped him through the previous trials, as well as his battle with the monster Error. Spencer’s heroic action ultimately comes down to perseverance or endurance in the face of terrible odds. Even Prince Arthur’s victory over Orgoglio can be attributed to sheer endurance. Rather than overwhelm or outthink the giant, Prince Arthur hangs on until the giant’s blow loosens his shield covering and the brilliant light of the shield blinds Orgoglio. Of course, Prince Arthur does more than endure. He also defends himself and makes the most of opportunity when it presents itself. But for Redcross, only perseverance and strength really aid him in any of his trials.

Once Redcross has absorbed the patience, wisdom, endurance, and holy writings of the House of Holiness, action immediately ensues. Secure in his identity and destiny as Saint George, Redcross immediately begins to fight the dragon. The dragon embodies his original quest, the honor he seeks from the Faerie Queen, and all sin. Unlike previous opponents, the dragon can be seen easily. No deception or illusion obscures the Redcross Knight’s quest or how to complete it. Yet the quest is not easy. Rather, the immutability of the dragon is similar to that of land and mountains. Wounding or killing the dragon seems a superhuman feat because of its very construction. But in this fight, no matter how difficult, Redcross has no perceptual challenges to overcome. Only his fighting ability matters, and that, for Redcross, is a straightforward pursuit.

A stray line in Canto x, stanza 45 offers some resolution to the theme of chance, or fortune, brought up in the analysis of the last section of the Faerie Queen. Spencer writes, “It chaunst (eternall God that chaunce did guide).” This suggests that fortune or chance is only perceived as coincidental, and that God directs all action, whether or not humans perceive it. St. George is an important historical and religious figure for Britain. He is the patron saint of England. As depicted in numerous paintings, the main act St. George is remembered for is the slaying of a massive dragon. Several stories exist about the historical St. George, including that he fought against the Roman empire because they persecuted Christians, that he held to his Christian faith despite being tortured for it, and that he tore down an edict demanding persecution of Christians. To those who already know about St. George, Redcross would immediately be associated with him because St. George’s emblem is a red cross on a white background. This emblem was used in many British battles as a marker of British troops, including those against the Scottish and French. The story of St. George and the dragon revolves around a nasty dragon that held a city at bay and demanded human sacrifices to keep from killing the whole city at once. St. George, an avowed Christian who stated his beliefs despite persecution by the Romans, attacked the dragon and saved the city and the princess who was to be sacrificed. By writing the first Book of the Faerie Queen about St. George, Spencer increases the possibility of the poem being a canonical work in British literature, because St. George is so beloved by the nation. Combined with the dedication to Queen Elizabeth, the epic poem gains political and religious approval in the widest circles in Britain.

Redcross’ victory over the dragon clearly is due to God’s grace. He would not have survived either being burned alive in his own armor or the heat and blow that cause him to fall. Only the well of healing water and the balm from the healing tree save the Redcross Knight, and those are clearly miraculous items placed by God upon the earth. The healing tree is next to a tree of knowledge, like the one in Eden, and suggests that Una’s kingdom is, in fact, Eden itself. If Eden is a physical locale, then Biblical events are literally true and God’s existence is assured.

The healing water calls to mind the holy rite of baptism, while the tree is the tree of life, the fruit of which gives a happy life to any who eat it. Both are clearly Biblical and obviously reference the acceptance of God into one’s life. Because the Redcross Knight is ready for the battle mentally, physically, and spiritually, he is able to be redeemed through God’s grace and succeed on his third attempt to kill the dragon. This ability to rise from the dead echoes Redcross’ corpse-like emergence from Orgoglio’s dungeon, with the significant difference that this time Redcross needs no human intermediary to receive God’s grace. Instead, he accepts grace himself.

Yet both the well and the balm of the tree illustrate that Redcross cannot claim victory to himself. Redcross’ victory depends upon God and flows from God. The Christian cannot glorify him or herself with action because God guides all actions. Any victory is really God’s victory, with a human as the vessel of God’s grace.

Canto xii wraps up Book I in an odd manner. This Canto is far more literal and realistic than any of the previous Cantos. The characters are less mythical and strange than in previous Cantos, and the dominion of clear perception means that the story is less beguiling and more realistic. People marvel at the dead body of the dragon, and can’t quite shake their fear of it, and the celebratory procession includes many details that make it easier to believe in (playing children, for instance).

When the Archimago and Duessa try to reassert the world of illusion by sending the Archimago to the court, neither Una nor the Redcross Knight are deceived. For the first time, both see through the magical disguise and the Redcross Knight is able to not only see through the enchantment, but also to explain it to others. The implication is that the trials and redemption have fundamentally changed Redcross and made him even more of a hero.

However, Spencer does not let Book I end particularly happily. Although the guy gets the girl (Redcross is betrothed to Una) and wins the battle (Redcross defeats the dragon), before calm peace and happiness can ensue Spencer inserts a delay. Six years of service to the Faerie Queen restrain Redcross from living the happy life he has just discovered. Furthermore, the Redcross Knight leaves his betrothed Una to help the Faerie Queen fight a “proud Paynim king” working against her. Paynims are unbelievers, and so Redcross leaves his beloved in order to help Gloriana, who represents Queen Elizabeth, fight against those who do not embrace Protestantism. Thus, the political and religious allegory links to Spencer’s own time and Queen Elizabeth’s battles to secure her nation as a Protestant stronghold.

In addition, although the Archimago is temporarily imprisoned, he soon escapes and is loose for the next Books. So although it seems that the couple is content, the monster defeated, the quest ended, and the enemies subdued, Spencer undoes each of those happy things so that things are left unsettled at the end of Book I. Perhaps this is meant to encourage the reader onward, but it certainly shows that the order restored in Book I is a temporary order, something hard-won but easily lost. The happy ending is a qualified one because Duessa, the proud Paynim King, and the Archimago are still conniving against chivalrous and Protestant Knights and Ladies.


Summary and Analysis: Book I, Cantos v-viii


Summary and Analysis: Book II, Cantos i-vi