The Faerie Queene Analysis
All throughout the history of literature authors have been given the
opportunity to express their own personal beliefs by using the art of literature through
propaganda and other various literary device techniques to persuade and inform the
audience about their personal principles, ethics, and opinions. In "The Faeire Queene" by
Edmund Spenser, all of the characters represent abstract ideas. Specifically, Britomart,
Redcrosse, Una, and Error. Throughout the poem, Spenser uses these allegorically
significant characters to illustrate the "proper religion" (Protestantism) as well as ...view middle of the document...
Spenser directly states this in his Letter of the Authors: "The first of the
knight of the Redcrosse, in whom I expresse Holyness"(779). He is also an unmistakable
follower of Jesus Christ. For example, the author wrote, "But on his brest a bloudie
Crosse he bore, The deare remembrance of his dying Lord, For whose sweete sake that
glorious badge he wore, And dead as living ever him adored…"(Spenser 782). Therefore,
the bloody cross gives a clear and direct representation of the knight's Lord (Jesus Christ)
when he died upon his cross. James W. Broaddus in his analysis of Redcrosse and
Salvation wrote, "…Redcrosse begins with a genuine but weak faith that suffers a
significant fall when he abandons Una (the True Faith and/or the True Church) at
Archimago's hermitage. His faith is eventually restored to and strengthened in his faith in
the house of Holiness"(par 1). Thus, the "true Faith"/"true church" represents
Protestantism and Redcrosse is a single Christian fighting against Catholicism, the
Una is Redcrosses's future wife and is found to be the other hero of Book 1 of the
poem; she is seen as the representation of truth, which Redcrosse must set out to find in
order to have his faith restored. The name "Una" has a very clear definition of "oneness,"
which captures two values that Una is found symbolizing throughout the poem: the unity
of truth and the one true church (Protestant). According to the poem, Una represents total
purity: "So pure an innocent, as that same lambe, She was in life and every virtuous
lore…(Spenser 783). Along with purity, Una is also found being compared to Jesus
Christ. For example, the author wrote, "A lovely Ladie rode him faire beside, Upon a
lowly Asse more white then snow…"(Spenser 783). Thus, Una is a representation of
Jesus Christ when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The donkey, unlike the horse, is a
simple animal and thus shows that like Jesus, Una is humble.
Error is a monster that lives in the wandering wood and is Redcrosse's first
enemy. According to the poem, Error is "…Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide, But th'
other halfe did womans...