The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

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The Faerie Queene: Book IV: Canto II Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Despite attempts by Blandamour and Paridell to keep stirring up an argument, Glauce’s words finally calm Scudamore down. Soon another knight with a lady by his side comes riding by. His name is Sir Ferraugh, and the lady appears to be Florimell, but in fact it’s the false Florimell who was travelling with Braggadochio.
Glauce’s role for Britomart is similar to the role that the Palmer played for Sir Guyon, acting as an older and more experienced voice of reason. Here, she gets Scudamore to listen to her as well.
Themes
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Fickle Blandamour decides that he wants “Florimell” (the disguised sprite) now. He attacks Sir Ferraugh and knocks him off his horse, claiming Florimell as his own. Paridell, who previously didn’t care about Florimell, is jealous when he sees her up close and hears her alluring words.
Blandamour proves how worthless his love is by switching his affection from Amoretta to false Florimell so quickly. Paridell is perhaps even more fickle, motivated to want “Florimell” just because Blandamour wants her.
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Paridell accuses Blandamour of being too boastful and says they made a promise earlier that they would equally share any spoils they came across. Blandamour takes offense, saying he won Florimell fairly and is prepared to defend his claim. Blandamour and Paridell start a fierce battle. They might have kept fighting each other forever if the Squire of Dames hadn’t come along.
Unlike the true friendship of the Redcross Knight and Arthur, the friendship of Paridell and Blandamour breaks down at the first sign of disagreement, with the two of them literally fighting to the death over a woman they just met.
Themes
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The Squire of Dames asks Paridell and Blandamour (who won’t stop fighting) what the cause of their disagreement is. They both answer that it’s the love of Florimell. The Squire of Dames argues that it would be better for them to join forces, so that they can better defend Florimell from any other knights who want to claim her. The squire informs them that other knights are seeking Florimell, and so at last, Paridell and Blandamour put aside their anger and decide to keep riding together.
The Squire of Dames, who previously took some liberties when interpreting the request of his lady, gives Paridell and Blandamour a suggestion that sounds somewhat reasonable but which is also unconventional, since knights didn’t typically share ladies in formal arrangements.
Themes
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Paridell, Blandamour, and the others run into Cambell and Triamond with their ladies, Cambine and Canacee. The narrator mentions that these two knights are actually characters from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and many stories of their wondrous deeds have been lost, so the narrator wants to revive them, hoping that he can do justice to Chaucer’s spirit.
The whole poem The Faerie Queene is written in a style that was archaic for the time when Spenser was writing and which was inspired in part by Canterbury Tales. One of the most noteworthy aspects of Canterbury Tales is how it had self-contained stories that spanned different genres, something that The Faerie Queene also does to an extent.
Themes
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Quotes
Canacee is Cambell’s sister, and she is loved by many knights for her wisdom. Cambell sensed that this could cause trouble, so they made an arrangement where one day all of Canacee’s potential suitors would gather for a contest. When it was down to the top three, Cambell himself would face them, and whoever won would take his sister.
Cambell is referenced in the subtitle to Book IIII, suggesting that he is an important character, even though he ultimately doesn’t take up a huge part of the story.
Themes
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Cambell has a ring from Canacee that will stop mortal wounds from bleeding. In the knights who have come to challenge for Canacee, there are three brothers named Priamond, Diamond, and Triamond. Their mother, Agape, is a fairy who was raped by a knight while she was asleep.
Many knights have a protective item on them, and in the case of Cambell, his ring symbolizes his connection to his sister, which is what gives him strength.
Themes
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One day, Agape begins to fear how her sons will die. She goes to the Fates, and is dismayed to see that the threads of their fates (representing the length of their lives) are very short. She asks the Fates for a favor: when the eldest dies, the rest of his life should be passed to the middle son, and when the middle son dies, the rest of his life should be passed to the youngest son. The Fates agree. From then on, the brothers do everything together, including falling in love with Canacee.
In mythology, prophecies like the ones given by the Fates are seldom wrong, but sometimes they come to pass in unexpected ways. The mother of the three knights asks for their bond to be made even stronger so that if any of them die, they will essentially share a soul.
Themes
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