The Faerie Queene

Pastoral Imagery and Its Importance in Spenser’s "The Faerie Queene" and "Epithalamion" College

Serene landscapes and seductive relationships are key themes throughout Edmund Spenser’s work and are major assets to the plot and character development in “The Faerie Queene” and “Epithalamion.” Spenser’s early works are all in the pastoral tradition, most notably “The Shepheardes Calender,” with a strong progression toward his daring epic celebration, “The Faerie Queene.” Although both “The Faerie Queene” and “Epithalamion” focus on beautiful landscapes and the character’s relation to nature, only “The Faerie Queene” represents nature in a negative tone with the adventures of Redcrosse Knight and his progression throughout the poem’s six books; the knight ultimately suffers due to his humanly faults and inconsistency in keeping to the chivalric code of duty. On the other hand, “Epithalamion” represents Spenser’s pastoral magnificence at work in illuminating his wedding to Elizabeth Boyle in 1595, producing grand displays of nymphs, love, and supreme happiness. Nonetheless, “The Faerie Queene,” in its allegorical praise to Queen Elizabeth I through the trials and tribulations of the Redcrosse Knight, Una, and Arthur, is meant to inspire the virtuosity of mankind while praising England for its history and traditions. Beautiful...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1061 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8329 literature essays, 2290 sample college application essays, 359 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in