The Faerie Queene

The role of Arthur in the Faerie Queene book 1

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Prince Arthur’s tale of his own quest for the Faerie Queene foreshadows his own involvement in the epic (had it been completed). 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.