Sample Essay Outlines
1. Duessa deceives Fradubio and the Redcross Knight because she is beautiful and acts as if she is chaste, yet secretly she is ugly and evil. How does the reader know that Una is not the same way? What clues does Spencer provide that Una is good and Duessa deceitful? Discuss their names and the way that the Redcross Knight meets each Lady, as well as her influence upon him.
I. Thesis: In Book I of Spencer’s Faerie Queen, Una’s goodness is unquestionable and displayed in her behavior and her effect upon others. Duessa’s evil nature is revealed by warnings that the Redcross ignores as well as by the idle and lascivious behavior she induces in him.
II. The method of meeting each Lady and the immediately following adventure illustrates the Lady’s nature.
a. Una was supported by the Faerie Queen in her petition for aid, and so receives the highest possible recommendation.
b. In the Forest of Error, Una urges Redcross not to enter the cave but when he does tells him how to kill the monster.
c. Duessa fled Redcross as if she were used to rough society, not nobles. Her companion Sans foy was a brute.
d. Fradubio warns Redcross, but Redcross does not listen.
III. The effect of each Lady on Redcross and others illustrates Una’s nature to the reader.
a. Una moderates Redcross’ enthusiasm and helps him to win battles. She advises him well.
b. Una tames the wood gods and teaches them religion.
c. Una brings Prince Arthur to save Redcross and then heals him in the House of Holiness.
d. Duessa causes Redcross to fight the vain battle with Sans joy.
e. Duessa distracts Redcross by the stream so he is weak and gets captured by Orgoglio.
IV. The appearance of each Lady illustrates her nature, as does her name.
a. Una is in black, aptly mourning for her...
(The entire section is 798 words.)