Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Thomas H. Cain
In Books I, II and VI of The Faerie Oueene, the knights quest to capture or destroy those monsters which threaten the good of society. As such, the knights play the role of social redeemers -- to varying degrees of success. In Chapter One I examine how Spenser conveys Book I's needed redemption as national by drawing on Virgilian and biblical paradigms, the legend of Arthur and, perhaps most importantly, the very immediate historical context in which he is writing. In Chapter Two, I tum to Book II where the needed redemption has moved to the personal, specifically the family and the body. Here Spenser draws on Herculean analogues to express the problematic aspects of such redemptions. In Chapter Three my focus is Book VI. Here Spenser evokes the ambivalence of the Hercules figure to convey the difficulties of redeeming civilization from a centrally human flaw: envy. It is through study of these redemption paradigms in Books I, II and VI that we come to a further understanding of how The Faerie Oueene maintains a tenancy between the active life and the contemplative life.
Zlotnik, Janet Erin, "Redemption Paradigms in Books I, II and VI of The Faerie Oueene" (1996). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7050.
McMaster University Library