The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

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Mercilla Character Analysis

Mercilla is a just and merciful queen who, like the Faerie Queene and Britomart, is another flattering stand-in for the real Queen Elizabeth. One of her most notable actions is to hold a trial for the false sorceress Duessa, which could be interpreted as a reflection of the real-life trial of the deposed Catholic monarch Queen Mary by the new Protestant monarch Queen Elizabeth.

Mercilla Quotes in The Faerie Queene

The The Faerie Queene quotes below are all either spoken by Mercilla or refer to Mercilla. 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 V: Canto X Quotes

When they had seene and heard her doome a rights
Against Duessa, damned by them all;
But by her tempred without griefe or gall,
Till strong constraint did her thereto enforce.

Related Characters: Duessa, Mercilla, Arthegall
Page Number: 838
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Faerie Queene LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Faerie Queene PDF

Mercilla Character Timeline in The Faerie Queene

The timeline below shows where the character Mercilla appears in The Faerie Queene. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
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
...saw them chasing Samient. The damsel explains that she serves a renowned virgin queen named Mercilla. But despite the queen’s virtue, a wicked man wants to steal the throne, motivated by... (full context)
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
Despite the problems Adicia causes, Mercilla wants to deal with her in a friendly, peaceful way. She sent Samient as a... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...go to the court of the evil man, called the Sultan, who wants to overthrow Mercilla because of his wife Adicia. Arthur soon arrives and demands that Samient be let go.... (full context)
Book V: Canto IX
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
...before deciding it’s time to start traveling again. But Samient persuades them to go see Mercilla, who isn’t far away. Along the way, they hear about a wicked knight named Malengin... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...him to be eaten by vultures, then free Samient as they continue their journey toward Mercilla. (full context)
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
Arthegall, Arthur, and Samient finally make it to the court of the queen Mercilla. Many splendid knights are there to greet them. In the court, there’s also a bad... (full context)
Book V: Canto X
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator praises mercy, a virtue that Mercilla has in abundance. Duessa is seen as guilty by all in the court and Mercilla... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...sacrifices one by one to a monster he has. Two of the surviving children ask Mercilla for help. Mercilla sends Arthur out to help, while Arthegall goes off on his own... (full context)
Book V: Canto XI
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Arthegall has just left Mercilla and is on his own adventure. He is still trying to save Eirena from Grantorto... (full context)