The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

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Sansfoy, Sansloy, and Sansjoy are three Saracens (an old term that usually meant Muslims or sometimes “pagans” in general) who are brothers and who each oppose the noble Redcross Knight on his journey. Sansfoy is the first of the brothers to be introduced (along with his lady Duessa, who is a witch in disguise). When he is slain, his brothers promise to avenge him, but over the course of the poem, they too are slain, despite often receiving unfair advantages in battle.
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Sansfoy Character Timeline in The Faerie Queene

The timeline below shows where the character Sansfoy appears in The Faerie Queene. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book I: Canto II
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
...Saracen (a Muslim) The Saracen’s shield contains the words Sans foy (“without faith”). Next to Sansfoy the Saracen is a lady (Duessa) in scarlet who wears a Persian-style crown. She is... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Redcross Knight and Sansfoy the Saracen battle each other with the ferocity of two rams. Sansfoy finds he’s unable... (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
After seeing her lover Sansfoy die, the scarlet lady (Duessa) pleads for mercy from the Redcross Knight. The knight is... (full context)
Book I: Canto III
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
...Redcross Knight (who is actually Archimago in disguise) for what he did to his brother Sansfoy. Una pleads for Sansloy not to kill the knight, saying that he is the truest... (full context)
Book I: Canto IV
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
Sansjoy notices that the Redcross Knight has the shield of his slain brother, Sansfoy. Sansjoy starts a fight with the Redcross Knight. They clash, but Lucifera orders them to... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
...Lucifera and tells her about how the Redcross Knight used treachery to kill his brother Sansfoy. He throws down his gauntlet as a promise to fight the Redcross Knight in battle... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...ways to defeat the Redcross Knight. Duessa talks about how she loved Sansjoy’s fallen brother Sansfoy but how the Redcross Knight has trapped her with him. She asks Sansjoy to avenge... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Sansjoy promises that he will do his duty to Sansfoy’s ghost by sacrificing the blood of the Redcross Knight. (full context)
Book I: Canto V
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
Duessa hangs Sansfoy’s shield from a tree—both she and the shield will go to the victor of the... (full context)
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
...still wants to kill Sansjoy. Trumpets greet his victory, and the knight is presented with Sansfoy’s shield. He gives the shield as a gift to Lucifera. There is a celebration for... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...who is in a chariot pulled by all-black horses. Duessa asks Night why she allowed Sansfoy to fall to the Redcross Knight’s sword. Night admits that she is saddened by their... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...promises that the Redcross Knight will pay a price in his own blood for slaying Sansfoy. Night asks who Duessa is, and she replies that she’s the daughter of Deceit and... (full context)