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The Faerie Queene is a religious allegory.

by touhidsm, May 09, 2014

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Answer: There is no matter of doubt that Spencer’s poem, The Faerie Queene, is replete with allegorical significance. Edmund Spenser stands among the greatest writers of the Elizabethan period whose valuable contributions fashioned a new tradition in English literature. Nowadays he is hailed to be one of the chief initiators of the Renaissance movement in English literature. Spenser's rich and vigorous imagery and careful treatment of metrical structure left a profound influence on the succeeding poets and ensured his place as one of the seminal literary artists in the flamboyant field of English literature.

Spenser reached the highest pinnacle of his art and invention with his romantic tour de force “The Faerie Queene”. It has been hailed as Spenser’s masterpiece, the supreme triumph of the poetic art in English literature. The poem is an allegorical romance symbolizing the moral and spiritual journey of an individual through innumerable temptations of sins towards the ultimate attainment of glory and truth. The poem thus has a serious purpose behind its fanciful characters, settings and events.

All the characters in “The Faerie Queene” have allegorical significance since they represent abstract ideas. The title character, the Fairy Queen (Gloriana) herself, is meant to represent Queen Elizabeth. The Red Cross Knight who is appointed by the Fairy Queen to assist Lady Una in releasing her parents from the prison of Dragon is the embodiment of Holiness, piety, and true religion (Protestantism). Lady Una stands for truth, goodness and wisdom. Her parents symbolize humanity held by Evil represented by the foul Dragon. The mission of Holiness is to champion the cause of Truth and regain the right of human race, held by subjection by the mighty force of Evil.
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