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.
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