Spenser's "The Faerie Queene:" A Fairy Tale World Book Review by Shellybell

Spenser's "The Faerie Queene:" A Fairy Tale World
An analysis of Edmund Spenser's poem "The Faerie Queene," focusing on its fairy tale motifs such as the binary oppositions represented by Una and Duessa.
# 115904 | 1,868 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Aug 18, 2009 in Literature (Children) , Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry)

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This paper discusses "The Faerie Queene," by Edmund Spenser, and its apparent affinity to the fairy tale genre, due to the personification of good and evil in the characters Una and Duessa. The writer explains how, while keeping the traditional dichotomy of characters that make up a fairy tale world, Spenser twists what we normally think of as the world of fantasy. Not only does RedCrosse through his fallibility bring it back to reality and the realization that it is impossible for humans to be purely one thing, but in Una Spenser introduces the possibility of the good character being taken over and exploited.

From the Paper:

"With Spenser's characters operating in the same way as a fairy tale, it is easy to identify with Una and know that it is she, not Duessa that we should most identify with and aspire to be like. In the world of a fairy tale in which the hero triumphs, the beautiful girl is chosen over all others and the wicked are punished, the role of each character is clearly defined and the only one who seems too fleshed out for this fantasy world is RedCrosse. Being outside the story ourselves, the disguise of beauty does not fool us in the same way it does RedCrosse, as he is still childlike in his search for proper placement in society. He must learn the qualities that are most desirable and be able to see past the physical appearances."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cheney, Donald. "From Plowman and knight: The hero's dual identity." Spenser: A collection of critical essays. Berger, Harold, ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1968.
  • Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2006.
  • Maccaffrey, Isabel. Spenser's Allegory. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1976.
  • Spenser, Edmund. "The Faerie Queene." Greenblatt 716-902.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Spenser's "The Faerie Queene:" A Fairy Tale World (2009, August 18) Retrieved June 04, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/spenser-the-faerie-queene-a-fairy-tale-world-115904/

MLA Format

"Spenser's "The Faerie Queene:" A Fairy Tale World" 18 August 2009. Web. 04 June. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/spenser-the-faerie-queene-a-fairy-tale-world-115904/>