Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Faerie Queene: Introduction
The Faerie Queene: Plot Summary
The Faerie Queene: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Faerie Queene: Themes
The Faerie Queene: Quotes
The Faerie Queene: Characters
The Faerie Queene: Symbols
The Faerie Queene: Literary Devices
The Faerie Queene: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Edmund Spenser
Historical Context of The Faerie Queene
Other Books Related to The Faerie Queene
- Full Title: The Faerie Queene
- When Written: Sometime between 1587 and 1596
- Where Written: North Cork, Ireland
- When Published: 1590 for the first three books, 1596 for the next three
- Literary Period: Elizabethan
- Genre: Epic Poem, Fantasy
- Setting: A mythical medieval-inspired place known as “faerie land”
- Climax: Each of the six books has a different climax in which one of the Faerie Queene’s subjects uses their virtue to defeat a villain.
- Antagonist: False knights and pagans
- Point of View: Although the first-person narrator is a character, most of the book is told in the third person.
Extra Credit for The Faerie Queene
Long Live the Queene. Although Edmund Spenser is not as widely read today as his contemporary William Shakespeare, The Faerie Queene has been cited as an influence on a wide range of pop culture works, ranging from books like The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Phantom Tollbooth to the movie series Star Wars to the TV show The Crown and the video game series Dark Souls.
Stuck on the To-Read Pile. Although The Faerie Queene is dedicated to Elizabeth I and features several characters modeled on her, there is no conclusive evidence that she read even one of its over 36,000 lines.