Epic Conventions Applied in The Faerie Queene

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Throughout the centuries, writing an epic is considered as the major qualification of being master poet for the European writers and many writers attempt to give an example in this genre along their life time. Unfortunately, big portion of such writers fail and burry in the dusty shelves of the literature whereas some other writers’ life time could not be long enough to complete “such divine duty that puts on the poets’ shoulders. (Sydney 47).Especially, when we look through the English literature, till the first existence of the national epic works, English writers feel the lack of epic writer figure such as Homer of Greeks, or Virgil of Latins in their literature and this obligates them to focus on writing in epic genre and this need causes them to complain about this absence more frequently. For instance, Edmund Spenser claims in one of his pastoral, The Shepheardes Calender, as if a poet wants to be master in poetry, s/he has to abandon writing the basic forms of poetry such as pastoral and has to write an epic then his/her name will be written in the sky. Spenser deeply believed that it was necessary to construct an English, Christian Epic. The reason for this can be found within Sir Philip, An Apologie for Poetrie. It is Sydney’s desire to prove that the art of poetry is not a waste of time to Elizabethan society. By legitimizing poetry as a true art form, he is also validating the English language’s need for a great national epic. On the other hand, Spenser, himself achieves to fulfil such a call with one of the best examples of epic poetry, through his incomplete masterpiece, The Faerie Queene, to the English literature. Unfortunately his life could not let him to finish the whole work as his intents, he is able to write o...

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...tion is using epithets re-namings of, mainly, characters by stock phrases. These occur quite a lot in The Faerie Queene. The Knight of the Red Crosse is among others named “the Champion (stout)”, “the valiant Elfe”, “the Elfin knight” while Una is often referred to as “that Ladie milde” or “faithful Dame”. Another epic convention is the statement of the theme. It occurs in the beginning of every canto in Spenser's epic poem: the canto commences with a four-line sentence, stating briefly what is about to happen.
To conclude, basic conventions of an epic poem are can be fulfil by The Faerie Queene. Thus, the poem no matter whether it carries romance characteristics, eventually it remains as one of the fairest example of English literature in epic genre and with its success Edmund Spenser is going to be remembered as one of the best poets amid Homer, Virgil or Tosso.

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