Powerful Women of The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost Essay

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1205 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      Two very powerful female figures are presented in Error of The Faerie Queene, and Sin of Paradise Lost. These two characters are quite similar in description, Milton making a clear tribute to Spencer's work. Both characters have the same monster qualities, and both posses allegorical names and qualities.

Error is by far the most disgustingly described of the two monsters. In Book 1, Canto 1, she is the first obstacle to meet the knight and his party. She represents the consequences of the night's foolhardiness and over-confidence. Seeking shelter from a storm while lost in the woods, the knight and his party come across a cave. He is warned by Una not to enter the dark and foreboding cave, "Oft fire is without smoke, / and perill without show: therefore your stroke / Sir knight with-hold, till further triall made.(103)" Even the dwarfe warns that "this is no place for living men.(117)" But the knight, "full of fire and greedy hardiment (118)", enters "the darksome hole.(120)"


After entering, his "glistring" armor reflects some light into the dark cave, allowing him to plainly view the woman-beast. Reacting to the light, her "thousand" disfigured off-spring crawl into the sanctity of her wretched mouth. These young ones are mimicked by Milton in his descriptions of Satan's daughter in Paradise Lost. The first connectio...

... middle of paper ...

...iption, Milton offers mere comparisons-perhaps a more powerful comparison would be one to Error herself.


Works Cited and Consulted:

Elledge, Scott, ed. Paradise Lost: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism. New York: Norton, 1975.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Ed. Roy Flannagan. New York: Macmillan, 1993.

Spenser. Ed. Annabel Patterson. New York: Longman, 1998.

Spenser, Edmund.  The Faerie Queene.  The Norton Anthology of English Literature.  Ed. M.H. Abrams. 

Webber, Joan Malory. "The Politics of Poetry: Feminism and Paradise Lost." Milton Studies. Vol. 14. Ed. James D. Simmonds. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 1980. 3-24.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
The Role Of Nurse Glauce In The Faerie Queene Essay - In Book Three of The Faerie Queene, the character of Glauce plays an important role in aiding Britomart, the main character, to set off on her journey. Britomart, who represents Spenser's idea of ideal Christian chastity, confronts some challenging and poignant issues before she heads off on her adventure; namely, she sees a vision of her future husband in an enchanted looking glass, and does not quite know how to handle the feelings of all-encompassing love that arise in her. The terror, doubt and confusion she experiences are similar to what is felt by any young girl embarking on the emotional rollercoaster of adolescence, but with the added factor of the spectral figure she sees in the mi...   [tags: Faerie Queene Analysis, Literary analysis] 1601 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about The Faerie Queene by Edmond Spenser - In Edmund Spenser’s epic romance titled, The Faerie Queene, the author takes the reader on a journey with the naive Red Crosse Knight on his route to finding holiness. On the Red Crosse Knights journey to holiness, he encounters two very different women that affect his travels to becoming a virtuous man. The first woman the Red Crosse encounters is Una, a woman that represents innocents, purity, and truth. Una is beautiful and graceful yet appears to be the strong force that leads the Red Crosse Knight to a more virtuous life....   [tags: powerful women, red crosse]
:: 5 Works Cited
1080 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Role of Women in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene Essay - Role of Women in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene       Edmund Spenser in his epic romance, The Faerie Queene, invents and depicts a wide array of female figures.  Some of these women, such as Una and Caelia, are generally shown as faithful, virtuous and overall lovely creatures.  Other feminine characters, such as Errour, Pride, and Duessa are false, lecherous and evil.  This might seem to be the end of Spenser's categorization of women; that they are either good or bad.  Yet upon closer examination one finds that Spenser seems to be struggling to portray women more honestly, to depict the "complex reality of woman" (Berger, 92).  Spenser does not simply "idealize women or th...   [tags: Faerie Queene Free Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
2917 words
(8.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Good vs. Evil in Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser - Good vs. Evil in Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser Good versus evil is one of the most commonly used themes in literature. Edmund Spenser’s “Faerie Queene” is no exception to this theme. The story consists of a knight who must save the day and win the hand of his true love. This plot in itself is really common in story plots. The “Faerie Queene,” however, adds a little life to this old tradition. Allegory is placed in this story and really makes up the theme and brings it to life. Allegory is a literary device where a metaphor is extended throughout the narrative and the characters in the story symbolize a type of virtue....   [tags: Faerie Queene Good Evil Allegory Essays] 888 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Prophetic Vision in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene - Prophetic Vision in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene In the First Book of The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser reveals his prophetic and apocalyptic vision for the fledgling British Empire, personified in his hero Redcrosse. As the secular instrument of Gloriana, the Faerie Queene, Redcrosse takes on the sacred task of Una (representing religious truth) to free her parents, Adam and Eve, from their bonds of sin. Before he can achieve his task, the Redcrosse knight (representing holiness) must mature as a Christian knight as he and Una encounter inhabitants of Faerie Land and interact with them....   [tags: Faerie Queene Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
647 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Edmund Spenser‘s Dazzling Quest for Virtue in The Faerie Queene Essays - Edmund Spenser‘s Dazzling Quest for Virtue in The Faerie Queene "Voyeur: one who habitually seeks sexual stimulation by visual means" (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary). According to Baby's Record, as a child my favorite stories included Daniel in the Lions' Den, Jonah and the Whale, Elisha and the 40 Children Eaten by the Bears, The Three Little Pigs, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Before sex came violence, tamed by a mother's lap and blessed by the inspired Word. Voyeurism may well be "the relation ....   [tags: Faerie Queene]
:: 2 Works Cited
719 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Defense of Her Majesty and the Church of England in The Faerie Queene - Defense of Her Majesty and the Church of England in The Faerie Queene     In The Faerie Queene, Spenser presents an eloquent and captivating representation of the Roman Catholic Church, her hierarchy, and patrons as the malevolent forces pitted against England in her exploits as Epic Hero. A discussion of this layer of the allegory for the work in its entirety would be a book in and of itself, so, for the purposes of this exercise, the focus will be confined to Book I, Canto 1, through the vanquishing of the dragon, Errour....   [tags: Faerie Queene Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
2884 words
(8.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Dragons in Beowulf and in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene - Dragons in Beowulf and in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene When one usually thinks of a dragon, one thinks of dragon-slayers, adventure, damsels in distress, and cheap fantasy novels. Dragons in literature have not always been used for such meaningless entertainment. There are many precedents for dragons in medieval literature, two of the most prominent being in the Old English poem Beowulf and in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. In both of these epic poems, dragons play major antagonistic roles....   [tags: Beowulf Spenser Faerie Queene Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1988 words
(5.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
An Analysis of Selected Stanzas From Book II, Canto VII of Spenser’s Faerie Queene 1 - An Analysis of Selected Stanzas From Book II, Canto VII of Spenser’s Faerie Queene 1 I Her face right wondrous faire did seeme to bee That her broad beauties beam great brightness threw Through the dim shade, that all men might it see: Yet was not that same her owne native hew, But wrought by art and counterfetted shew, Thereby more lovers unto her to call; Nath’lesse most heavenly faire in deed and vew She by creation was, till that she did fall; Thenceforth she sought for help, to cloke her crime withall....   [tags: Faerie Queene] 1917 words
(5.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Theme of Temperance in The Faeirie Queene - Theme of Temperance in The Faeirie Queene The themes of temperance, that being the employment of restraint, or at least moderation, especially in the yielding to personal appetites or desires, and of intemperance, the submitting to such desires, pervade Book Two of The Faeirie Queene. Prior to describing individual rooms within the Castle of Alma, it is useful to briefly discuss how the idea of the castle functions within the Book. Spenser compares the towers of the structure with towers at Thebes and Troy, which stand as monuments to individual According to Berger, Alma's Castle functions as an 'archetype of human temperance'; Spenser specifically describes the building in terms...   [tags: Faerie Queene Essays] 675 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]