The Faerie Queene Questions and Answers: Book I, Cantos v-viii

Edmund Spenser

Questions and Answers: Book I, Cantos v-viii

Questions
1. What motivates Redcross to escape the House of Pride?

2. How is Satyrane different from the others in the troop of fauns, satyrs and nymphs? How does that difference benefit Una?

3. What character represents Pride and capture Redcross? What is Duessa’s role in each capture?

4. What textual clues link Duessa to Catholicism?

5. How is Orgoglio defeated?

Answers
1. Redcross’ Dwarf tells him of sinners trapped by pride or idleness and forever tortured in the dungeons beneath the House of Pride. Afraid of a similar fate, Redcross rides out in search of worthy pursuits.

2. Satyrane is half-man and was raised to be fearless. He has more intelligence than the other wood gods and so not only worships Una, but also understands her teachings. Because of his sympathetic nature (despite his ferocity) and intelligent bearing, Una confides her wish to escape and find Redcross, and Satyrane comprehends and helps her.

3. Orgoglio represents Pride. Duessa leads Redcross to the House of Pride, and he fights for her as booty as well as for his own honor in a prideful battle with Sans joy. Duessa also relaxes Redcross by the stream that causes weakness, and so he is unable to fight when Orgoglio appears. Duessa then bargains for Redcross’ life, but also causes his imprisonment.

4. In the sixteenth century, Protestants referenced the Whore of Babylon to indicate Roman Catholicism. Duessa wears the same clothes, carries the same cup, and rides the same beast that the Whore of Babylon has in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Furthermore, she brings Redcross to the House of Pride, and that kingdom is a sly reference to the Pope and Catholicism as well. Like the House of Pride, Duessa’s beauty and charm come from pomp and impudence, a common criticism of Catholicism by Protestants in the sixteenth century.

5. Prince Arthur’s intervention defeats Orgoglio. He blows a horn which opens locked doors and causes Orgoglio to leave his castle, and then uses blinding flashes of light and battles to kill Orgoglio, despite earthquakes and the injury of his own Squire.