The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene


Edmund Spenser

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The Faerie Queene: Book III: Proem Summary & Analysis

The narrator announces that he’d like to write about Chastity, which he believes is the highest of the virtues. In fact, Chastity is so great that the narrator fears his quill isn’t good enough to write properly about it, but he hopes that his audience, the queen, will see some of herself and her own chastity in the following book.
Chastity has already played a major role in the previous books, particularly with the virtuous female characters, and so it makes sense that the narrator would consider it important. Chastity is also significant because of how it relates to the real-life Queen Elizabeth’s status as an unwed monarch.
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Literary Devices