Questions and Answers: Introduction and Book I, Cantos i-iv
1. Why are Una and the Redcross Knight companions?
2. Why does the Redcross Knight abandon Una?
3. What warning about Fidessa does the Redcross Knight ignore?
4. The Redcross Knight is deceived by the Archimago and Fidessa. Is the Lady Una ever deceived? If so, is her error of the same type as the Redcross Knight’s?
5. What scares the Redcross Knight away from the House of Pride?
1. The Faerie Knight has vowed to kill a dragon that is savaging Una’s land.
2. The Redcross Knight believes the deception of the Archimago, which pretends to show that Una is not chaste.
3. Fidessa and the Redcross Knight relax under a bewitched tree that used to be a man, Fradubio. Fradubio tells his story in which, as a young man who was very much in love, he was tricked by a sorceress into believing that his love was ugly and the sorceress beautiful.
4. While wandering the forests with her protective lion, Una meets the Archimago, who is disguised as the Redcross Knight. She falls for this deception and believes he is her true love. However, unlike the Redcross Knight, she never doubts her love’s good qualities; she believes him to be good, brave and strong even though he has deserted her and apparently loses a battle. The Redcross Knight doubts her chastity and begins to court another woman. Clearly, his errors are much more deep-rooted.
5. The Dwarf tells the Redcross Knight about thousands of prisoners trapped in dungeons beneath the House of Pride. They were ordinary men and women who were tempted into pride or indolence and now are paying the price. In such a lovely setting, surrounded by flattering women, it would be difficult for the Redcross Knight to maintain his honor and bravery. He flees in order to escape being trapped by his own vices.
Questions and Answers: Book I, Cantos v-viii
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?
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.
Questions and Answers: Book I, Cantos ix-xii
1. Why is Prince Arthur, who is from Earth, in Faerie Land?
2. What is Prince Arthur’s quest? How did he come by it?
3. What does the episode with Despair reveal about the Redcross Knight?
4. How does the House of Holiness prepare the Redcross Knight for his battle with the dragon?
5. What two miraculous events save Redcross during his fight with the dragon? How do they reveal the presence of God?
1. Prince Arthur was sent to Faerie Land because he was too young to assume the throne when his father died, although he was the rightful heir. His mother worried that the uncle who took over the kingship would kill the Prince to keep his claim to the throne, and so sent him to Faerie Land. Merlin watched over him, gave him spectacular gifts like his armor and shield, and a stepfather named Timon watched over him.
2. Prince Arthur seeks Gloriana, the Faerie Queen. She came to him while he was resting, and he fell in love with her. Before he met her, he was a cold and rude young man, but after falling in love with her he has become a steadfast and true Knight.
3. The Redcross Knight has just endured the physical trial in Orgoglio’s dungeon, but Despair shows him that he is also susceptible to emotional and logical manipulation that can endanger his life just as much. Despair reminds him about God’s vengeance and justice, but does not mention God’s mercy. This harsh portrayal of God leads Redcross to bemoan all of his sins and fall prey to self-pity. Only Una’s influence saves him.
4. The House of Holiness gives Redcross a sense of identity and religion. It clarifies his mission in life and gives him the courage, strength, and acceptance of God to complete his quest with Una. He accepts God’s grace and his own destiny as a saint.
5. A well of healing water and the sap from a healing tree revive Redcross from near-death states and give him extra strength and stamina to battle the dragon. Since a plunge into healing waters can easily be tied to baptism, particularly in such a religiously laden work, and the tree is explicitly named as the tree of life, God’s presence is indicated by both events. Furthermore, the tree of life is right next to the tree of knowledge, suggesting that Una’s land is in Eden. If Eden is a physical locale, the Bible may be taken literally and God’s existence cannot be denied. In addition, the suggestion that God’s grace and sacraments save Redcross from death also strengthens the idea that God is present during the battle.
Questions and Answers: Book II, Cantos i-vi
1. What happened to Ruddymane’s parents?
2. Why does Guyon have to walk to Medina’s castle?
3. What reason does Pyrochles give for fighting with Guyon?
4. Why does Cymochles leave his indulgent lounging by the river?
5. In what circumstance does Atin discover that Pyrochles lives? Who else witnesses this?
1. Ruddymane’s father fell into indulgence at the Bower of Bliss and died because Acrasia cursed him when he left. His mother committed suicide in despair.
2. Braggadocchio stole Guyon’s horse while he was speaking with Ruddymane’s mother.
3. Pyrochles claims that it was not Knightly for Guyon to defeat the old woman Occasion.
4. Atin tells Cymochles that his brother Pyrochles was killed by Guyon and Cymochles must avenge that death.
5. Atin and the Archimago watch Pyrochles stumble into the river claiming that his organs have been set afire by Furor and Occasion, though nothing can be outwardly seen. The Archimago heals him.
Questions and Answers: Book II, Cantos vii-xii
1.Why does Guyon enter the cave of Mammon? What happens when he leaves?
2. How do Guyon and Prince Arthur enter Alma’s castle? What is it like?
3. What is striking about Prince Arthur’s battle with Maleger?
4. What role does the Palmer play in the navigation to the Bower of Bliss?
5. What is Arcasia’s effect on her paramours?
1. Although Guyon has refused the wealth Mammon has offered, he is curious to see what it is he refuses. He enters the cave of Mammon out of curiosity and in response to Mammon’s invitation. When he leaves, he collapses from lack of food and water and only survives Pyrochles and...
(The entire section is 329 words.)
Questions and Answers: Book III, Prologue-Canto vi
1. Why doesn’t Britomart remove her armor at Castle Joyeous? What mistake does that lead Malecasta into?
2. Why does Britomart malign Artegall?
3. Why does Florimell flee Faerie Court? Why does she flee Prince Arthur?
4. What is darkly humorous about Cymoent’s attempt to protect her son from the prophecy’s fate?
5. Describe Belphoebe and her twin’s birth and upbringing.
1. Britomart leaves her armor on to hide her gender. Britomart’s beautiful face then incites Malecasta’s lust because she believes Britomart to be male.
2. Britomart is in love with Artegall and wishes to hear stories...
(The entire section is 267 words.)
Questions and Answers: Book III, Cantos vii-xii
1. Why does Satyrane believe Florimell dead?
2. What motivates the witch to create the false Florimell?
3. Why does Paridell stay at Malbecco’s castle?
4. Why does Malbecco transform into a living example of jealousy?
5. What situation does Britomart find Amoretta in?
1. Satyrane sees the witch’s monster eating Florimell’s horse and finds Florimell’s bloodied golden girdle, so he believes Florimell has died because of the monster.
2. The witch’s son is sick with love for Florimell, and her disappearance ruins his state of mind. When the witch tells her son that Florimell is dead, her son...
(The entire section is 249 words.)
Questions and Answers Book VI, Proem-Canto vi
1. What conditions must Crudor meet in order to live?
2. How does Calidore acquire a Squire?
3. How is Turpine humiliated?
4. What does the Blatant Beast symbolize, and what happens when it bites someone?
5. Does the savage man need Prince Arthur’s protection? Why or why not?
1. Calidore forces Crudor to agree to be kind to all Knights and Ladies, to marry Briana and teach her courtesy, and to drop his dowry requirement of a mantle made of the hair of Ladies and Knights.
2. The brave, noble youth Tristam fought an armed Knight with only darts and bare hands for the honor of a Lady. To reward the...
(The entire section is 196 words.)
Questions and Answers: Book VI, Cantos vii-xii
1. Why does Turpine lie to the two Knights about Prince Arthur?
2. Why can’t Timias, Enias, or even Prince Arthur free Mirabella from her tormenters?
3. How does Meliboe’s wisdom possibly lead Calidore astray?
4. Why do the slave-traders demand to see Pastorell? Why does the captain resist?
5. What happens to the Blatant Beast?
1. Turpine feels humiliated by Prince Arthur, but he is afraid that he will be defeated again if he engages in combat with him. By lying to the two Knights, he can send proxies to defeat his enemy.
2. Mirabella’s punishment was decreed by the gods. She must endure it...
(The entire section is 250 words.)