Various Allegories in The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer


Edmund Spenser was one of the famous poet in Elizabethan age. He was born in 1552,in Smithfield in London.His father name is Jhon Spenser, a cloth maker. He published his first work named “Shepheared Calender” in 1579. It is series of ecologues ( the past twelve ecologues correspond to twelve month. His famous was ” the Faerie Queene” in 1590, and The Queen Elizebeth awarded him 100 dollars for the act of his great effort. The first three book of Faerie Queene was published in 1590, and last three book was published in 1596. He was in died in 1599, in Westminster Abbey.


An allegory is form of writing usually a story or a description in which the person, the place, the object and the event have meaning and implication beyond the literal meaning. If it is a story, it is often implies a penetrating comment on life and society. The character in story often represent the idea or qualities such as patience, purity, truth, falsehood, anger, jealousy, greediness etc.


  1. Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
  2. The faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
  3. Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift

Allegorical work

The Faerie Queene was an allegorical work of Edmund Spenser. In book one the Faerie Queene, Spenser has shown the fight between vice and virtues and the triumph of Virtue.

Moral and Spiritual Allegory

This allegory deals with the action and interaction of vice and virtues.

  1. Good character is representing various virtuous
  2. Bad Character is representing vice
  3. Red Cross knight is representing holiness
  4. Lady Una is expressing as Truth and Goodness
  5. Una’s parent is showing Human race
  6. Dragon who captured Una’s parent is expressing evil
  7. Archimago is representing hypocrisy (his mission is to workout with sinister design and intrigues against the Red Cross knight and Una so that they can be seprated.

The mission of holiness is to help truth and fight against evil and thus regain its rightful place in human heart. Thus Red Cross knight was encouraged by Lady Una kills the monster error and merchant a head on his way, and the allegory behind the story is if Holiness fight with evil and save the Humanism. this is the allegorical meaning of the storyline.

Moral and Spiritual Allegories Blend with Religious Allegory

Reformation movement was in peak in the period of spenser. And it was deeply affect on Spenser. Reformation was one of the important religious movement of that time and spenser represented it allegorically. He is the strong supporter of the reformed Church of England, and he was against in Catholic Church, in this type of allegory;

  1. RedCrossed will represent reformed church of England.
  2. Parent’s of Una will represent Human Race
  3. Dragon who imprisoned Una’s Parent, he will represent Pope of Rome because was not allowed to read,and humanity was imprisoned of pope of Rome
  4. Monster error will represent the error or mistakes which human being make in the course of their Life. (Like when Red Cross did mistake of entrance into the cave and he did not listen to Una and then he had to fight with monster in the cave.
  5. Fight between Red Crossed and Monster will express the fight between catholic(Monster) and Protestant (Red Crossed).
  6. The Books and Papers were vomited by the error will show a pamphlet directed against Queen Elizebeth by Catholic.

Moral and Religious Allegories Blend with Political Allegory

  1. The Red Crossed Knight will represent as St. George of England
  2. Lord Leicester will be expressed as Prince Aurther.
  3. Lady Una will represent the National Church of England Truthness.
  4. Una’s Parents will represent people of England who hold in Subjection by Roman Catholic
  5. Dragon will represent Roman Catholic.
  6. Monster error will represent evil force.
  7. Archimago will represent Philip (ii) of Spain who was a Roman Catholic by faith. Philip (ii) effort a lot to propagate Roman Catholic. He wanted to support Roman Catholic.
  8. Duessa will represent Mary Stuart or Queen Mary because she behaved very harsh behavior against Protestant. She had many Protestant killed, She was Roman Catholic by Faith, She believe in Roman Catolic.

Personal Allegories


  1. The character of Duesa will represent Falsehood and Evil.
  2. Sanfoy’s Character shows faithlessness, it means when a person goes away from God he will become faithlessness gradually.
  3. Sansloy will represent Lawlessness, It means that a person lose believe in rule over natural law.
  4. RedCross knight is led by Duessa to the palace of Lucifera pride when RedCross was mistaking to indulge with Duessa, he got Pride and it was great sin in Religion of Chritianity.
  5. Sir Satyrane will represent Goodness of nature or natural forces when he was protecting Una from Sansloy, it is represent that he always go with truth.
  6. The Character of Dwarf will represent Intelllect.
  7. Queene Gloriana will express the Character of Faerie Queen, Queen Elizabeth.
  8. Cambell will show friendship character.
  9. Calidore will represent knight of courtesy.
  10. Amorte will represent the virtue of married love
  11. Guyan will show knight of temperance.
  12. Artegall will represent embodiment of Justice.
  13. Britovart will express character knight of chastity.
  14. Ale will represent the character of Misfortune.
  15. Orgoglio will represent the Character of Pride.
  16. Plorinell will represent the character the nature of beauty.
  17. Caelia’s Character will represent Holiness.
  18. Pyrocles’ character will represent emotional meladies.
  19. Scudamour expresses the character of love

Allegory of Truthiness

When RedCross knight begins his Journey with Una and the Dwarf as companions to escape Una’s Parents from devil. It means allegorically the individual untested by Life’s challenges begins his journey with truth.

Allegory of Difficult Time

Seeking of shelter from storm RedCross wanders into the den of monster Error. RedCross defeated him with the help of Una and continues on his path. It means allegorically during difficult time in life, person makes an error but with the help of truth he or she is able to overcome on that error and continues on.

Allegory of Untrustwothy

When the Archimago alter his soul into Una and express that She was sleeping on bed with another person so that Redcross did not trust her more after watching this intolerable moment. it means allegorically that a person might be fooled by hypocrisy, and deception. He will lose sight of truth if he will not trust on his partner in journey of life and his life journey will be continued with grief.

Allegory of Faithlessnes

When RedCross left Una and started his journey without her, then a lot of challenge came like he encountered Sansfoy.He fought battle with him and killed him. It means allegorically that without truth a person faces the possibility of losing faith but he still fight with faithlessness until he overcome it.


This cantos of Faerie Queene tell us that when a person start a journey of life,a lot of difficulties come in life, if he would be pure and trustworthy himself, he will consider all difficulties as a challenges and he fights to unless he achieved his goal. Some time he loses his faith under circumstances of situation but he try to regain his position after fulfilling all his destiny in course of life.

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