The Faerie Queene

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Una, the True Church

The Faerie Queene is an important romantic epic that more than being just poetry, represents the protestant imagery in terms of kinds of individual virtue , the forces of temptation and human weaknesses to which the greatest of persons can succumb and, of course, the humanist ideals of its time. His author, Edmund Spenser, makes use of biblical and classic allegories to tell his story, that more than have been a religious writing, the poem’s purpose was to educate, to turn young men into gentlemen and to make a declaration of faith in England. However, the more important purpose of the Faerie Queene is its allegory, the meaning behind its characters and events. The story's setting is a fanciful "faerie land," that emphasizes how its allegory is meant for a land very close to home: Spenser's England. In the poem, two kinds of levels of allegory appear to be used; the first one examines the moral, philosophical, and religious terms, symbolized by the Redcrosse Knight who, at the same time represents Christians. The second level is focused on the political and social terms, in which Queen Elizabeth I is referred as different characters along the poem. This paper will examine Una, the Lady, as a character of symbolic nature, the role she plays in the story, the relationship that she has with the other characters, and how her beauty, humbleness and strength are representative in the development of the poem. I will describe Una’s role in The Faerie Queene as an allegory of truth for the Protestant Church.

The allegorical narrative The Faerie Queene is a story following the Redcrosse Knight on his path to find Christian salvation. Through this character, Spencer explores the two virtues he believes to be the most important in the Christian religion, Chastity and Holiness (Book i). Armed with faith, the Redcrosse Knight represents the Christian souls in the search of Holiness. He is travelling with Una, whose name means...
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