The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Faerie Queene can help.
Although the narrator of the poem doesn’t draw attention to himself for much of the story, he addresses the reader in the proem for each book and sometimes comments on the action, particularly in the first couple stanzas of a canto. The narrator resembles narrator characters from ancient Greek and Roman epic poems, often calling on the Muses to help tell his story better.

Narrator Quotes in The Faerie Queene

The The Faerie Queene quotes below are all either spoken by Narrator or refer to Narrator. 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 I: Proem Quotes

Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske,
As time her taught in lowly Shepheards weeds,
Am now enforst a far unfitter taske,
For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds,
And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds;

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
Book I: Canto IV Quotes

Young knight, what ever that does armes professe,
And through long labours huntest after fame,
Beware of fraud, beware of ficklenesse,
In choice, and change of thy deare loved Dame

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Redcross Knight, Duessa, Una
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Book I: Canto XII Quotes

Now strike your sailes ye jolly Mariners,
For we come unto a quiet rode,
Where we must land some of our passengers,
And light this wearie vessel of her lode.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Redcross Knight, Una
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
Book III: Proem Quotes

It falls me here to write of Chastity
That fairest virtue, farre above the rest;
For which what needs me fetch from Faery
Forreine ensamples, it to have exprest?
Sith it is shrined in my Soveraines brest

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Britomart
Page Number: 383
Explanation and Analysis:
Book IV: Canto I Quotes

Of lovers sad calamities of old,
Full many piteous stories doe remaine,
But none more piteous ever was ytold,
Then that of Amorets hart-binding chaine,
And this of Florimels unworthie paine

Page Number: 383
Explanation and Analysis:
Book IV: Canto II Quotes

Though now their acts be no where to be found
As that renowned Poet them compyled,
With warlike numbers and Heroicke sound,
Dan Chaucer well of English undefiled,
On Fames eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Priamond, Diamond, and Triamond, Cambell, Canacee, Cambina
Page Number: 587
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:
Book VI: Canto I Quotes

But mongst them all was none more courteous Knight,
Then Calidore, beloved over all,
in whom it seemes that gentlenesse of spright
And manners mylde were planted naturall

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Calidore, Sir Turpine
Related Symbols: Faerie Court
Page Number: 878
Explanation and Analysis:
Book VI: Canto VI Quotes

No wound, which warlike hand of enemy
Inflicts with dint of sword, so sore doth light,
As doth the poysnous sting, which infamy
Infixeth in the name of noble wight:
For by no art, nor any leaches might
It ever can recured be againe;

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Calidore, The Blatant Beast
Page Number: 938
Explanation and Analysis:
Book VI: Canto XII Quotes

Ne may this homely verse, of many meanest,
Hope to escape his venomous despite,
More than my former writes, all were they clearest
From blamefull blot, and free from all that wite,
With which some wicked tongues did it backebite,
and bring into a mighty Peres displeasure,
That never so deserved to endite.
Therefore do you my rimes keep better measure,
And seeke to please, that now is counted wisemens threasure.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), The Blatant Beast
Page Number: 1023
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Faerie Queene LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Faerie Queene PDF

Narrator Character Timeline in The Faerie Queene

The timeline below shows where the character Narrator 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 narrator of the poem calls out to a muse, imitating the style of other famous and... (full context)
Book I: Canto III
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 narrator laments that fair Una is in trouble. Nevertheless, she remains faithful as she wanders in... (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
The narrator praises the knightly chivalry that led Prince Arthur to help free the Redcross Knight from... (full context)
Book I: Canto X
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The narrator suggests that humans shouldn’t be vain because all their strength and bravery come directly from... (full context)
Book I: Canto XI
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...Redcross Knight asks Una to stand aside, so that he can go into battle. The narrator calls upon a muse as well as on Mars, the god of war, as he... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The narrator wonders whether the Redcross Knight’s blade was strengthened in the well. In any case, the... (full context)
Book I: Canto XII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator says that he can see a safe journey’s end for Una and the Redcross Knight.... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...Queene. Shortly after the wedding he does so, leaving Una to mourn his absence. The narrator says that this part of the story is like when sailors land to drop off... (full context)
Book II: Proem
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The narrator admits that he doesn’t know where faerie land is exactly, but he talks about other... (full context)
Book II: Canto IX
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...lands around them. The craftsmanship of the rooms up there is so amazing that the narrator can’t even describe it. The most important rooms hold three sages. (full context)
Book II: Canto X
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator talks about how nothing under the sun has ever been as glorious as Britain. The... (full context)
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
...from Rome invades Britain. Caesar conquers the land, at the cost of great bloodshed. (The narrator foreshadows that Arthur will one day rise up against the Romans.) (full context)
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...Sir Guyon has been reading his separate book on the history of faerie land. The narrator claims that the book is too long to fully summarize, so he just gives some... (full context)
Book III: Proem
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The narrator announces that he’d like to write about Chastity, which he believes is the highest of... (full context)
Book III: Canto III
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 narrator calls again on his Muse to make sure he does justice to the glory of... (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
The narrator says that even the heroes of old from Homer’s time can’t compare with Britomart. After... (full context)
Book III: Canto V
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...perhaps he has been poisoned. She continues to exhibit exemplary care for Timias, and the narrator also praises her chastity. (full context)
Book III: Canto VI
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator begins to describe the birth of Belphoebe and how she became so perfect in her... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...fall in love with a great knight named Scudamore and face many challenges, but the narrator says that’s another story. The narrator says it’s time to return to the current story. (full context)
Book III: Canto VIII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator regrets that it’s time to turn away from Florimell back to the adventures of Sir... (full context)
Book III: Canto IX
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator promises that he’ll finally explain why Paridell and Sir Satyrane aren’t being allowed into the... (full context)
Book III: Canto XI
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator laments the existence of foul Jealousy and praises instead the chaste love of Britomart. Shortly... (full context)
Book IV: Proem
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 narrator reflects on how he’s spent a lot of time recently praising love, perhaps too much... (full context)
Book IV: Canto I
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator summarizes how Britomart saved Amoretta from Busirane and brought her back to Scudamore, adding some... (full context)
Book IV: Canto II
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Book IV: Canto VII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator laments how Cupid’s arrows can bring down even the greatest: it happened to Florimell, it... (full context)
Book IV: Canto VIII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator interrupts to note how, on the surface, it might seem improper for Arthur to be... (full context)
Book IV: Canto IX
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator praises friendship, which, though different from love, is similar and virtuous in its own way.... (full context)
Book IV: Canto XI
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
The guest list at the feast is so long and illustrious that the narrator calls on Clio, a Muse who was nursed by Memory, in order to remember everyone.... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
...Following the rivers are many, many sea nymphs. After listing off so many guests, the narrator says he has tired himself out and must switch over to the next Canto. (full context)
Book IV: Canto XII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Even after listing so many wedding guests at Proteus’s house, the narrator says he left off several names. At the wedding is also Marinell’s mother the nymph... (full context)
Book V: Proem
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator laments that compared to the antique world, the modern world is corrupted and lacking in... (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... (full context)
Book VI: Proem
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The narrator says that variety is what keeps him from getting bored as he continues through the... (full context)
Book VI: Canto II
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
According to the narrator, courtesy is the most fitting virtue for knights in love with ladies. As Calidore continues... (full context)
Book VI: Canto XII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
...knights. He gets so powerful that no one can ever chain him up again. The narrator says that even his own poem isn’t free from venomous words, but he hopes that... (full context)