Book 3, Canto 5. Book 1, Canto 2. Not moving, not breathing. Book 3, Canto 9.

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Una realizes this and warns Redcrosse not to venture forth, but the knight proceeds anyway and finds himself locked in battle with Errour. Errour gains the advantage by spewing forth vile misinformation at Redcrosse, but Una encourages him to stand firm in his faith. Doing so, Redcrosse is able to gain the upper hand and strangle Errour. Redcrosse and Una depart the forest and encounter a hermit, who is actually the sorcerer Archimago in disguise. Archimago offers them shelter, but while they sleep, he plots against them with his dark arts.

Redcrosse resists, however, driving the sprite away. The knights joust, with Redcrosse winning and Sansfoy fleeing without his lady. Duessa leads Redcrosse to a bower, where a wounded tree tells Redcrosse that it was once a man but was transformed into this sickly, immobile state by Duessa. Canto 3 The scene shifts back to Una, afraid and alone in the forest. A great lion charges her, intent on devouring her, but upon reaching her, it is overcome by her virtue and instead kisses her.

The lion becomes her devoted protector, taking the place Redcrosse abandoned. Una and the lion come upon Abessa absence , who invites them to follow her to her home to stay with herself and her mother. As the lion approaches the house, the mother and daughter cower in fear, but Una is given lodging. Redcrosse approaches her, although he is really Archimago in disguise. Una believes the deception, but her unfounded joy is short-lived as the brother of Sansfoy, Sansloy, attacks the false Redcrosse and defeats him.

The knight then lays claim to Una, since she is without a protector. The lion attempts to defend Una, but Sansloy kills it and drags her away. Canto 5 Sansjoy and Redcrosse duel, with Redcrosse ultimately winning.

Duessa creates an obscuring mist to prevent Redcrosse from killing Sansjoy; she then helps Sansjoy escape to the underworld to heal. Redcrosse, warned of the dungeons hidden beneath the House of Pride, departs while Duessa is occupied.

Canto 6 When Sansloy attempts to have his way with Una, she cries out and is heard by nearby fauns and satyrs. The woodland spirits arrive and frighten Sansloy away, then take Una to their home. Satyrane leads Una from the village of the fauns and satyrs in an effort to track Redcrosse.

Instead of Redcrosse, the two find Archimago, this time disguised as a pilgrim, who claims that the knight Sansloy has killed Redcrosse. Archimago gives them directions to find Sansloy; Satyrane challenges Sansloy to combat, and while they fight, Una runs away. Archimago follows her. Canto 7 As he is making his way through the forest, Duessa accosts Redcrosse. They mend their strained relationship, consummating it in sexual intimacy.

Redcrosse is weakened by the encounter, making him easy prey for the giant Orgoglio. Duessa prevents Orgoglio from killing Redcrosse, offering herself as paramour to the giant. Orgoglio imprisons Redcrosse in his dungeon, and then gives Duessa a magnificent beast-steed.

He explains the situation to Una, who then encounters Prince Arthur. Telling him of her plight, Una gains the protection of Prince Arthur and takes him on as her champion against Orgoglio. Canto 8 Arthur and Orgoglio do battle, with Arthur wounding Orgoglio by cutting off his left arm. Duessa attempts to help Orgoglio, but Arthur attacks her beast to drive her away. Orgoglio re-enters combat with Arthur, only to be dismembered.

Orgoglio falls to the ground, his body releasing a great gust of air as it collapses. Redcrosse escapes the castle, but is weakened by his sinful behavior.

Una allows Duessa to live on the condition that she will show herself for what she truly is; Duessa agrees, revealing herself to be a loathsome, misshapen creature. The two knights swear their friendship for one another, exchange gifts, and then go their separate ways. Redcrosse and Una then encounter a frightened knight wearing a noose around his neck. The knight has come from an encounter with the creature Despair. Redcrosse vows to battle Despair.

Redcrosse finds his cave, a corpse-littered abattoir in which Despair has just finished killing his latest victim. Despair seeks to convince Redcrosse that his sins are too great to bear, and that he should end his own life now rather than sinning even more. Una prevents Redcrosse from stabbing himself and must take him away to renew his strength and faith.

Canto 10 Una takes Redcrosse to the House of Holiness to heal and regain his strength. Redcrosse confesses his sins, learns the right way, and regains his strength as he undergoes a series of encounters representing his increase in holiness; the training culminates in a vision of the New Jerusalem. He speaks with Contemplation, who reminds him that he must complete his earthly quest before he can hope to enter heaven.

The battle takes three days. Redcrosse is engaged to Una, but must first complete his six-month obligation to the Faerie Queene. Archimago makes an appearance to accuse Redcrosse of having a prior engagement to Duessa. Redcrosse departs to the Faerie Queen, leaving Una to await his return and their wedding day.

Specifically, Una represents the truth of Protestantism against that of Roman Catholicism, which Errour represents. When Errour spews forth her lies upon Redcrosse Knight, Catholic tracts and papal injunctions are among the papers that make up her vomit. Redcrosse can only achieve victory over Errour by holding to the true faith, Protestant Christianity. In this way, holiness triumphs over falsehood. When Redcrosse embraces Duessa in the forest, he is showing how holiness can fall under the spell of erroneous theology, which looks appealing and true on the outside but is actually nothing but lies.

The lion at first seeks to kill Una; once it is close enough to apprehend whom and what she really is, it becomes tame and obedient. That the lion joins Una as her protector demonstrates the submission of the natural world to spiritual revelation. She could be everything from the minister who is lazy in his Biblical scholarship, to the layperson that is in fact absent from church on Sundays because he deems other things to be a higher importance.

When the lion kills Kirkrapine, the natural law has gone into effect upon someone breaking the spiritual law--morally corrupt choices lead to physical destruction. The lawless man--the one who sins without regret and rejects the moral law of God--may come out ahead of both the deception and natural law. Spenser allegorizes the immense power of human morality and immorality to resist the law of nature that was able to deal with Kirkrapine.

Sansloy is also a sinner, but he sins boldly and without the secretive nature of either Kirkrapine or Archimago. Lucifera, mistress of the House of Pride, is the chief of the seven deadly sins, Pride. Her name is a feminization of Lucifer, a name for Satan in Christian theology.

Satan is said to have committed the sin of pride when he saw himself as better than his Creator. In fact, all of the sinful symbols in this Canto are twisted parallels of later virtues, as we see in the House of Holiness of Canto Canto 6 When Sansloy attempts to rape Una, her cries are heard by local wood spirits, the fauns and satyrs.

Spenser wants his reader to know that the mythical and natural elements of classical and neo-classical writers and artists are subsumed within the true Christian faith, and that the God whose supernatural revelation founded the church is the same God who has created the natural world and all that is in it. Satyrane is the balanced blend of the human and the mythical, as he is half-human and half-satyr. He, too, is a knight and so may stand among the other virtuous warriors of The Faerie Queene.

He may represent the pre-Christian champion, who follows God through his understanding of the natural world rather than by the supernatural revelation given through Jesus Christ. Canto 7 Redcrosse continues his descent into sin. Although he has escaped the dungeons of the House of Pride, he gives in to the temptation of Duessa and engages in a carnal relationship with her. Redcrosse has succumbed to his own pride and is now at its mercy.

Redcrosse and Una are together in the same Canto for the first time since he abandoned her in Canto 1. Her happenstance meeting with Prince Arthur introduces this pivotal character to the epic. Prince Arthur is, of course, the young King Arthur, mythical past and destined future ruler of Britain. Arthur steps in to fulfill the role left vacant by Redcrosse, but he does it as part of his larger quest to find the Faerie Queene.

Canto 8 Prince Arthur triumphs where Redcrosse failed, for he is not prideful. Redcrosse begins his rehabilitation by facing the truth. Once he leaves their company, Redcrosse and Una immediately encounter a victim of Despair. The victim, another knight, displays the depths of his self-loathing in the noose he wears around his neck. Redcrosse challenges Despair, but he is easily persuaded that his recent sins have blackened his soul beyond redemption. Despair focuses Redcrosse only on his own failures, with no mention of the grace of God.

Una again comes to the rescue, as the truth saves him from suicide and leads him to the House of Holiness to recuperate. It is accessed by a narrow path cf. Redcrosse must be retrained through several allegorical situations, creating an allegory-with-an-allegory in this Canto.

That this training ends with a vision of the New Jerusalem indicates that Redcrosse has succeeded and his healed, for he has seen a vision of the New Heavens and New Earth as recreated by God at the end of days--a vision available only to those who persevere in their faith. Canto 11 The climax of Book 1 occurs with the battle between Redcrosse and the dragon. Redcrosse has one higher calling, however, in his duty to the Faerie Queene.

Una has no difficulty with the wait, for she sees Gloriana Queen Elizabeth as the great sovereign without equal; beside her, all other claims fall to last place.


The Faerie Queene

Una realizes this and warns Redcrosse not to venture forth, but the knight proceeds anyway and finds himself locked in battle with Errour. Errour gains the advantage by spewing forth vile misinformation at Redcrosse, but Una encourages him to stand firm in his faith. Doing so, Redcrosse is able to gain the upper hand and strangle Errour. Redcrosse and Una depart the forest and encounter a hermit, who is actually the sorcerer Archimago in disguise. Archimago offers them shelter, but while they sleep, he plots against them with his dark arts. Redcrosse resists, however, driving the sprite away. The knights joust, with Redcrosse winning and Sansfoy fleeing without his lady.


The Faerie Queene, Book 1, Canto 1 (1596)

Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske, As time her taught in lowly Shepheards weeds, Am now enforst a far unfitter taske, For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds, And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds; Whose prayses having slept in silence long, Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds To blazon broad emongst her learned throng: Fierce warres and faithful loves shall moralize my song. Helpe then, O holy Virgin chiefe of nine, Thy weaker Novice to performe thy will, Lay forth out of thine everlasting scryne The antique rolles, which there lye hidden still, Of Faerie knights and fairest Tanaquill, Whom that most noble Briton Prince so long Sought through the world, and suffered so much ill, That I must rue his undeserved wrong: O helpe thou my weake wit, and sharpen my dull tong. And thou most dreaded impe of highest Jove, Faire Venus sonne, that with thy cruell dart At that good knight so cunningly didst rove, That glorious fire it kindled in his hart, Lay now thy deadly Heben bow apart, And with thy mother milde come to mine ayde: Come both, and with you bring triumphant Mart, In loves and gentle jollities arrayd, After his murdrous spoiles and bloudy rage allayd. And with them eke, O Goddesse heavenly bright, Mirrour of grace and Majestie divine, Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose light Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world doth shine, Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne, And raise my thoughts too humble and too vile, To thinke of that true glorious type of thine, The argument of mine afflicted stile: The which to heare, vouchsafe, O dearest dred a-while. Thus as they past, The day with cloudes was suddeine overcast, And angry Jove an hideous storme of raine Did poure into his Lemans lap so fast, That every wight to shrowd it did constrain, And this faire couple eke to shroud themselves were fain. Much can they prayse the trees so straight and hy, The sayling Pine, the Cedar proud and tall, The vine-prop Elme, the Poplar never dry, The builder Oake, sole king of forrests all, The Aspine good for staves, the Cypresse funerall.


The Faerie Queene Summary and Analysis of Book 1 – HOLINESS

This hero gets his name from the blood-red cross emblazoned on his shield. He has been given a task by Gloriana, "that greatest Glorious Queen of Faerie lond," to fight a terrible dragon I. He is traveling with a beautiful, innocent young lady and a dwarf as servant. Just as we join the three travelers, a storm breaks upon them and they rush to find cover in a nearby forest. When the skies clear, they find that they are lost, and they end up near a cave, which the lady recognizes as the den of Error.


Faerie Queene. Book I. Canto III. The Faerie Queene. Morall Vertues. Craik: "Canto III. This is the stout and sturdy thief Kirk-rapine, who is wont to rob churches of their ornaments, priests of their habiliments, and the very boxes of the poor, and to bring all that he could get by right or wrong to this house and bestow it upon his paramour Abessa, daughter of the blind old woman, whose name, it is now intimated, was Corceca.

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