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The Faerie Queene - cover

The Faerie Queene

Edmund Spenser

Publisher: epf

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Summary

The Faerie Queene is an English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. Books I–III were first published in 1590, and then republished in 1596 together with books IV–VI. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it is one of the longest poems in the English language as well as the work in which Spenser invented the verse form known as the Spenserian stanza. On a literal level, the poem follows several knights as a means to examine different virtues, and though the text is primarily an allegorical work, it can be read on several levels of allegory, including as praise (or, later, criticism) of Queen Elizabeth I. In Spenser's "Letter of the Authors", he states that the entire epic poem is "cloudily enwrapped in Allegorical devices", and the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to "fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline".
Spenser presented the first three books of The Faerie Queene to Elizabeth I in 1589, probably sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh. The poem was a clear effort to gain court favour, and as a reward Elizabeth granted Spenser a pension for life amounting to £50 a year, though there is no further evidence that Elizabeth I ever read any of the poem. This royal patronage elevated the poem to a level of success that made it Spenser's defining work.
Available since: 09/14/2020.

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