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  • 10 months ago
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Write a discourse on Spenser’s treatment of good and evil in ‘The Faerie Queene’

 

Write a discourse on Spenser’s treatment of good and evil in ‘The Faerie Queene’


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Ans. Edmund Spenser has shown the interaction of good and evil, virtues and vices in ‘The Faerie Queene, Book-I, Canto-I’. He thought that this fight between good and evil could better be expressed through allegory.

In Book-I, Canto-I, we find the struggle between good and evil embodied in the characters. Those who fight for the right and honesty are the Red Cross Knight and Lady Una while the Monster of Error and Archimago represent evil.

The fight between the Knight and the Monster proved to be the most terrible one. The Red Cross Knight was deputed by the fairy queen to relieve the distress of Lady Una whose parents dwelt in perpetual dread of a fierce Dragon that had laid waste their whole kingdom and threatened them with death and destruction. There was a terrible fight between the Knight and the Monster. Ultimately the Knight succeeded in cutting off the Monster’s head and killing her.

The fight of the Red Cross Knight with the Monster of Error is the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism. Thus, in the mission of the Knight and Lady Una, we have seen that so long as truth and holiness or true religion are united, evil founded on learning cannot stand against holiness.

The battle between good and evil is also located in the Knight’s encounter with Archimago, a magician, who poses to be a holy person, but inwardly he is extremely evil. The Knight and Lady Una take this man as a reverend hermit. He courteously offers them night’s lodging but when they have gone to sleep, he starts to work some magic spells. Conjuring up two evil spirits, he sends one to the Kingdom of Morpheus, God of sleep to borrow a false dream. Then, he transforms the second spirit into the image of Lady Una. In a false dream, the imitation lady is brought to the beside of the Knight declaring her passion for him in seductive tone. Though the Knight was stirred by her charms and tender words, he virtuously rebuffs her advances and returns to his rest. Having failed in his first attempt, Archimago tries one more trick but the Knight pays no attention to his allurement.

Indeed, in the eternal fight between good and evil, right and wrong, the good is always prevailed defeating the hydra-headed evil. This is perfectly illustrated by the Red Cross Knight’s hostile with the Monster of Error and his calm surrender to the intrigues of Archimago.

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