Mutabilitie Cantos

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Mutabilitie’s Character

She is associated with the dark, destructive, intuitive forces within the personality .her proud rebellion against divine authorities inevitably bears overtones of Satan. The first half of Cantos VI is in effect a statement of the problem in semantics which Mutabilitie's challenge involves. The Olympians are being challenged in two senses simultaneously. As astronomical figures within the circle of Creation, they are to some extent subject to change, in terms of their regularly changing positions. As anthropomorphic deities they are burdened with the frailties of human impulses. The tone of the next cantos is one of an ironic wit. Mutabilitie has indeed left the human world and ascended to dizzying heights. She has climbed to the moon:-- "where Cynthia reigns in everlasting glory". Mutabilitie argues that the planets should hence forth be read as symbols not of changeless order, but of Change itself. The amazement with which the Olympians react to her presence seems a result less of her monstrosity than of her resemblance to them. Jove’s argument seems merely bombastic whereas Mutabilitie expresses her nature fully and directly. Mutabilitie is temporarily the stronger for her lack of circumstantial history. Spenser freely borrows from Chaucer in his construction of these Cantos. He mixes mythology which is sacred with Irish scenery, Olympus and Mt Tabor, and his own rivers and mountains. It would be difficult to find in classical myth and authority for the cosmology which is being presented here:--"But to the highest him... father of Gods and men by equal might/...the God of Nature I appeal(cantos Vii) Spenser's Nature brings the reader back to the world of allegory,...
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