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Faerie Queene (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) Paperback – 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840221089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840221084
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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First Sentence
Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske, As time her taught in lowly Shepheards weeds, Am now enforst a far vnfitter taske, For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds, And sing of Knights and Ladies gende deeds; Whose prayses hauing slept in silence long, Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds To blazon broad emongst her learned throng: Fierce warres and faithfull loues shall moralize my song. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fblaw6 on Oct. 1 2001
Format: Paperback
"For the method of a poet historical is not such as of an historiographer; for an historiographer discourseth of affairs orderly as they were done, accounting as well the times as the actions; but a poet thrusteth into the midst even where it most concerneth him, and there recoursing to the things forepast, and divining of things to come, makes a pleasing analysis of it all"
Spenser wrote a letter to Walter Raleigh (above excerpted) to explain this strange cacophony of FQ, a mixture of ancient mythology, Renaissance Christian morality and enough obscure symbolism for an academic brigade; a tribute to country and queen. Knights from the court of the Faerie Queen conduct a search and destroy mission against evil in the form of a pack of minor villains pecking away at the heroes of the poem, but each one perpetually foiled. Such as Archimago, the witch Hectate, the philanderer Malbecco receive comeuppances in jousts, internecine squabbles or palace tours, with this type of constant action occupying canto after canto that at some point the content aspect becomes a bit wearisome. Amid this "action" are endless lists of virtues allegorized in each book, the reader being skewered to a Platonic ideal especially evident in females with such as the knight Britomart representing strenght and accomplishment in women, Una, the ultimate fantasy chick, and several others with such heights of description one does expect something mind blowing ahead, perhaps at last the perfect woman, to which in FQ Spenser comes close without cigar. The joust with the evil forces of nature seems unique to Spenser, who seizes the reader by the lapels with an in one's face style of optimism such that worst elements suffer defeat by contrast with more worthy opponents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tepi on June 13 2001
Format: Paperback
THE FAERIE QUEENE. By Edmund Spenser. Edited by Thomas P. Roche, Jr with the assistance of C. Patrick O'Donnell, Jr. 1247 pp. Penguin English Poets, 1978 and Reprinted.
Although everyone has heard of Edmund Spenser's amazing narrative poem, 'The Faerie Queene,' it's a pity that few seem to read it. To a superficial glance it may appear difficult, although the truth is that it's basically a fascinating story that even an intelligent child can follow with enjoyment and interest.
It appears difficult only because of Spenser's deliberately antique English. He needed such an English because he was creating a whole new dimension of enchantment, a magical world, a land of mystery and adventure teeming with ogres and giants and witches, hardy knights both brave and villainous, dwarfs, magicians, dragons, and maidens in distress, wicked enchanters, gods, demons, forests, caves, and castles, amorous encounters, fierce battles, etc., etc.
To evoke an atmosphere appropriate to such a magical world, a world seemingly distant in both time and place from ours, Spenser created his own special brand of English. Basically his language is standard Sixteenth Century English, but with antique spellings and a few medievalisms thrown in, along with a number of new words that Spenser coined himself. The opening lines of the poem are typical :
"A Gentle Knight was pricking on the plain, / Y cladd in mightie armes and siluer shielde, / Wherein old dints of deepe wounds did remain, / The cruell markes of many a bloudy fielde...." (page 41).
If, instead of reading with the eye, we read with the ear or aloud, the strange spellings resolve themselves into perfectly familiar words such as clad (clothed), mighty, arms, silver, shield, deep, cruel, marks, bloody, field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jin on Dec 3 1999
Format: Paperback
I read Edmund Spenser's "Faerie Queene" as an assignment in my English Renaissance Literature class, but the book is one that I will keep in my own collection from here on out. The story was delightful and encouraged the imagination with just enough description to outline the picture, while leaving plenty of room for the audience to fill in the colors. Look for the vast amounts of symbolism throughout the poem. My favorite character of the play was Una. The princess who travels with the destined Saint George and remains faithful to both God and her love despite what harsh elements might come in her way. She was human in the sense that she was frightened, she cried, and she got herself in trouble, but she was an admirable character in her strengths, endurance and patience. Within her character, she encouraged a strong female role in a time when the potential of women had yet to be recognized. With Elizabeth as queen, the patriarchal dominance that was known through most of the world was startled. Edmund Spenser, however, knew the strength in his queen and admired it. Perhaps it his respect for Elizabeth that is carried through in his development of Una. As a whole, the "Faerie Queen" was simple enough for those who are not absorbed in classical literature. It had gory battles, risky sexual encounters, and a tender message of love and forgiveness. Most of all, it emphasized the mercy and grace that is found through the love of our God and the sacrafice of his son Jesus Christ. Another strong message that was conveyed through "Faerie Queene" was that of personal growth and taking the chance to discover what you have inside, not what you have always been.Read more ›
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