The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

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Gloriana (The Faerie Queene) Character Analysis

Although she never appears in the story, the Fairie Queene, whose name is Gloriana, gives the poem its title and motivates much of its action—characters like the Redcross Knight, Sir Guyon, and Calidore serve her, while the recurring character Prince Arthur spends most of the book searching for her after seeing her in a vision. Gloriana rules judiciously over Faerie Court in faerie land and is admired by everyone who knows her—she is the paragon of a good ruler. Since The Faerie Queene is dedicated at the beginning to Queen Elizabeth (who reigned when Spenser wrote it), it seems clear that the character of the Faerie Queene is meant to be a flattering stand-in for her. More broadly, the Faerie Queene represents a unified and peaceful Protestant nation, which contrasted with the real Britain Spenser lived in, where there was bloody conflict between Protestants and Catholics.

Gloriana (The Faerie Queene) Quotes in The Faerie Queene

The The Faerie Queene quotes below are all either spoken by Gloriana (The Faerie Queene) or refer to Gloriana (The Faerie Queene). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
).
Book II: Canto I Quotes

His carriage was full comely and upright,
His countenance demure and temperate,
But yet so sterne and terrible in sight,
That cheard his friends, and did his foes amate:
He was an Elfin borne of noble state
[…]

Him als accopanyd upon the way
A comely Palmer, clad in blacke attire,
Of ripest years, and haries all hoarie gray

Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:
Book V: Canto I Quotes

And such was he, of whome I have to tell,
The Champion of true Justice Artegall.
Whom (as ye lately mote remember well)
An hard adventure, which did then befall,
Into redoubted perill forth did call.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Gloriana (The Faerie Queene), Arthegall, Britomart
Page Number: 727
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gloriana (The Faerie Queene) Character Timeline in The Faerie Queene

The timeline below shows where the character Gloriana (The Faerie Queene) appears in The Faerie Queene. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book I: Proem
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...the story better, as well as the gods Cupid and Mars. He ends by praising Queen Elizabeth of England. (full context)
Book I: Canto I
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...quest to slay a dragon by the great queen of Faerie Court in fairy land, Gloriana. (full context)
Book I: Canto VII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...the capital, but they were unsuccessful. Eventually, news of the dragon reached the court of Gloriana the Faerie Queene. From this court rode the Redcross Knight, who will hopefully be able... (full context)
Book I: Canto IX
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...for a while, and when she left him, she revealed that she was called the Faerie Queene . When Arthur awoke, he was in love with the woman from his dream and... (full context)
Book I: Canto X
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...chosen people live. The Redcross Knight says he used to think that Cleopolis, where the Faerie Queene reigned, was the fairest city he’d ever seen, but he now knows Jerusalem is fairer. (full context)
Book I: Canto XII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...The knight, however, says he can’t rest because of his faith—he must return to the Faerie Queene and serve her for six more years in her war against a pagan king. (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...for everyone. Still, despite his joy, the knight remembers his promise to return to the Faerie Queene . Shortly after the wedding he does so, leaving Una to mourn his absence. The... (full context)
Book II: Canto II
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...he came from, and he replies that he’s been traveling in the service of the Faerie Queene , who is noble and great. He also relates the story of Amavia, Sir Mordant,... (full context)
Book II: Canto IX
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...stolen shield back to him. Arthur asks Guyon why he has an image of the Faerie Queene on his shield and Guyon explains how he’s in her service. Arthur mentions how he... (full context)
Book III: Canto I
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...recovered from his battle wounds. Meanwhile, Sir Guyon sends Acrasia back in chains to the Faerie Queene and decides to go traveling with Arthur. They go on many dangerous but glorious adventures... (full context)
Book III: Canto IV
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...as he dreams about how he wishes the lady he’s currently chasing were actually the Faerie Queene . He spends the rest of the night haunted by restlessness and waiting for morning... (full context)
Book III: Canto V
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...Britomart did badly injure him). When she heard this, Florimell immediately went off to the Faerie Queene ’s Faerie Court to try to find out if Marinell is okay and help him.... (full context)
Book V: Canto I
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...is Britomart’s love) is a champion of justice and a knight in service of the Faerie Queene . He has been tasked with saving a lady named Eirena from a tyrant named... (full context)
Book V: Canto VIII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...on earth, nothing can stop Sir Arthegall from completing his duties to the Faerie Queene Gloriana. Back on his quest, he comes across a damsel (Samient) riding quickly past. She is... (full context)
Book VI: Canto X
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...who was the most chaste and beautiful of all the Graces. Colin calls this woman Gloriana. (full context)