The Shepheardes Calender

by Edmund Spenser

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Colin Clout is a shepherd who is in love with a woman who does not love him back. He breaks his musical pipe in frustration and falls into a deep depression over the woman who does not return his love. Spenser writes, "So broke his oaten pype, and downe dyd lye." As the story progresses, Colin begins to work again and slowly becomes an important poet. His poetry and the impact of it replaces the love he once had for Rosalind. He voices January and December alone. At first he only mourns for his lost love, but at the end of his life, he speaks to Pan and compares his life to each of the four seasons.

Cuddie is another shepherd who, along with Thenot, voices February. He does not see the benefit or wisdom of old age. Thenot tries to explain it to him, but it goes over his head: Cuddie ignores his points. Thenot talks to Hobbinoll about Colin in April as well.

Piers argues with Palinode on behalf of Protestantism. Palinode defends Catholicism.

Thomalin and Morrell argue about whether either of them are excessively proud.

Rosalind is the girl Colin fell in love with. She does not return his affection. She is from the country. Despite the poetry he writes her, she never falls in love with him.

Hobbinoll is a friend of Colin. He believes in Colin's talent and encourages him to keep playing even when Rosalind does not return his affection. He speaks well of Colin to others. He says that "Him Loue hath wounded with a deadly darte" to Thenot in April.

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