Spenser's Anatomy of Heroism: A Commentary on 'The Faerie Queene'

Spenser's Anatomy of Heroism: A Commentary on 'The Faerie Queene'

by Maurice Evans


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This book is a study of Spenser's conception of the nature of heroism and the way it is embodied in the separate books of The Faerie Queene. Professor Evans stresses the coherence of Spenser's scheme of virtues and examines the fusion of Christian symbol and classic myth through which the underlying Christian theme is expressed. He emphasises the didactic purpose of the poem, and the rhetorical method by which the allegory works upon the reader. It is his contention that Spenser completed his poem, and that The Faerie Queene as it stands presents an organic unity so firmly controlled that it is unprofitable to consider any book, canto or even single verse isolation from the poem as a whole. The complexity of the poetry which this study reveals suggests that Spenser has much in common with the metaphysicals, while the subtle dissection of human motive and behaviour within the poem would place him in closer relationship to the drama than is normally recognised.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521129466
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/04/2010
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.59(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Introduction to the Poem: 1. The Heroic poem; 2. Meaning and myth; 3. Spenserean allegory; 4. Fashioning a gentleman; Part II. The Books of the Poem: 5. Holiness; 6. Temperance; 7. Chastity; 8. Friendship; 9. Justice; 10. Courtesy; 11. Mutability; Index.

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