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Spenser - Faerie Queene > Midterm Passages > Flashcards

Flashcards in Midterm Passages Deck (14)
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"A stream of cold, black blood forth gushed from her course...They flocked all about her bleeding wound, and sucked up their dying mothers blood, making her death their life, and eke her hurt their good"

What is happening: Error's babies feeding on her.
Significance: Blood lacks sustenance, Error's scattered brood is akin to religious sects, inverse nurturing suggests cannibalism, parallel to people who take advantage of others for personal gain, female procreation proves fatal for mother and offspring. Also maternal imagery shows how church created various dangerous ideology. "Her vomit full of books and paper" = roman catholic propaganda which seeks to falsify and harm faith.


"But one of those six knights, Gardante height...wherewith enrag'd she fiercely at them flew"

What is happening: Britomart in Castle Joyous being invaded by Malecasta and fighting Gardante.
Significance: Phallic injury cements ertoic subtext, Britomart's white smock represents chasity, figurative consummation is hinted at but not solidified, wound shows Britomart's royalty and vulnerabilty and complicity, demonstrates ignorance coming to terms with love, and the dangers of maintaing chastity. Britomart is tarnished.


"He then devise himself how to disguise...Magic spell?"

What is happening: Describes Archimago's penchant for disguise.
Significance: Shows concealment of self through deceit. Protestants commonly used sorcery to vilify Catholics; Archimago is analogous to Pope who uses sacred traditions for self-gain; Archimago demonstrates hypocrisy.


"If virtue had, to shew in perfect sight...and seem'd a world of glass"

What is happening: Britomart sees Arthegall in magic mirror.
Significance: Shows Britomart's purpose in her quest and her lovesickness. Prompts quest. Demonstrates limitations of human understanding (illusion vs. reality).


"By that same way the direful dames do drive...that with the Night durst ride"

What is happening: Descending into Hell.
Significance: Ghosts fear shows torment of Hell. Congealed blood = shift from life to death. Offers microcosm of decay. Wounds = vulnerability but vitality of life. Evokes fear into readers and demonstrates Duessa's power.


"Beside those arms there stood a mighty spear...Both spear and shield of great power...for her purpose fit"

What is happening: Britomart's armor.
Significance: Demonstrates Britomart's adoption of masculine armor and identity, double perception of her gender, enchanted weapons invite questions of (super)natural prowess, collapses past + present + future. Foreshadows hubris (excessive pride or self-confidence) of weaponry.


"The fearful Dame all quaked at the sight...mine own sweet boy"

What is happening: Satyrane's mother witnessing her son's brutality.
Significance: Masculinity = dallying with death, femininity = love and relationship. Maternal feminine renders Satyrane as sweet boy.


"Therwith they gan...both chose to win, or die"

What is happening: When Sansloy and Satyrane fight unnecessarily
Significance: Shows brutality of humanity is endemic (regularly founded)..


"Unkindness past...as it then befell"

What is happening: When Duessa and Red are at Diana's fountain.
Significance: Shows idleness leads to incapacitation. Perverse baptism imagery to highlight Red's internal shift. Erases virtuous qualities and re-emerges demonic image.


"By what strange accident faire Chrysogone...Through influence of th'heavens fruitful ray"

What is happening: being impregnated by the sun.
Significance: Bypasses corrupt female sexuality, highlights chastity as sacred, demonstrates sun as vital life source.


"Great enemy to it, and to all the rest...Ne ever pity may relent his malice hard"

What is happening: TBA, Garden of Adonis
Significance: Time deliberately destroys without regard, inverts agricultural tool as enemy to nature, suggests beauty and youth and more valuable and preferable, suggests decay as threat to immortals.


"And all about old stocks and stubs of trees...that cursed man, low sitting on the ground"

What is happening: TBA
Significance: Shows lack of hope inherent in despair, old man embodies landscape, illusion of human nature through fatalism, connects to lack of action.


"Out of his hand she snatched the cursed knife...Ne devilish thoughts dismay thy constant sprite"

What is happening: Una saves Recrosse from being killed.
Significance: showcases Una's ability to dismantle vain words, enrages truth (Una) that holiness (Redcrosse) succumbed to lies.


"Another Florimell, in shape and look"

What is happening: creation of fake Florimell.
Significance: suggests we are easily deceived by art's ability to convey truth, competing with nature for creation.