S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) 영학논집(English Studies) 영학논집(English Studies) No.29 (2009)
The Court, the Rule, and the Queen: The Faerie Queene as a Representation of Elizabeth I
- Choi, EunHye
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
- 영학논집 29(2009): 196-210
- intertextuality; allegory; female; monarchy; Elizabeth I; history; politics; court; patronage
- Edmund Spenser's epic The Faerie Queene is considered a brilliant periodrepresentative poem. Whereas its primary literary objective is to display and
laud virtues, a more worldly intent geared towards receiving patronage from Elizabeth is also hinted at in the introductory letter. That is to say, Spenser's intimacy with the court of patronage reinforced this allegorical work. Spenser wields his literary authority to its full effect by boldly incorporating contemporary social themes of England in his poem. The historical intertextuality of the work is especially accentuated through the self-assertive female characters (e.g. Gloriana, Caelia, Belphoebe, Lucifera and Britomart), all of whom distinctively draw parallels between themselves and Britain's most celebrated queen in physicality, authority, and conduct.
An historical literary approach towards Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene has been practiced in the critical realm for a long time. Even though literary criticism is most oribhal when the text is appreciated for its own value, it is not at all an uncreative project to examine and discover the many instances of Elizabeth's countenance and character flashing through its mirror characters. Even the famous allegorical factors of the poem revolve around character presentation. Various images of Elizabeth as a ruler, mother, virgin, lover, and warrior are all comprised throughout and the reader is rewarded with a comprehensive outline of Elizabeth's court, rule and person. The Faerie Queene is successful not only in that it is an outstanding heroic epic, but also because it is concomitant with implicit historical commentary, an attribute that enriches the work into becoming a dynamic literary experience for the reader.