The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

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Sir Guyon Character Analysis

Sir Guyon is the protagonist of Book II of The Faerie Queene, and he is a brave knight who embodies the virtue of temperance. He serves Gloriana, the Faerie Queene, and is guided for much of his journey by an old Palmer (pilgrim) who helps Sir Guyon stay on the right path and avoid temptation. Like the Redcross Knight, Sir Guyon comes from faerie land, and he meets Redcross shortly after Redcross’s victory over the dragon. When Sir Guyon encounters the dying woman Amavia, he finds out that she was mortally wounded by the evil sorceress Acrasia. Acrasia, who lives in the Bower of Bliss, represents excess and the opposite of temperance, and so it becomes Sir Guyon’s mission to defeat her, which he does at the end of Book II.

Sir Guyon Quotes in The Faerie Queene

The The Faerie Queene quotes below are all either spoken by Sir Guyon or refer to Sir Guyon. 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 II: Canto IV Quotes

And round the wreath, this word was writ,
Burnt I do burne. Right well beseemed it,
To be the shield of some redoubted knight

Related Symbols: Shields
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Book II: Canto VIII Quotes

There the good Guyon he found slumbring fast
In senseless dream; which sight at first him sore aghast.

Beside his head there sate a faire young man,
Of woundrous beautie, and of freshest years.

Related Characters: Sir Guyon, Mammon, The Palmer
Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:
Book II: Canto X Quotes

After him Uther, which Pendragon hight,
Succeeding There abruptly did end

Related Characters: Arthur , Sir Guyon, Alma
Page Number: 345
Explanation and Analysis:
Book II: Canto XII Quotes

Said Guyon, See the mind of beastly man,
That hath so soone forgot the excellence
Of his creation, when he life began,
That now he chooseth, with vile difference
To be a beast, and lack intelligence

Related Characters: Sir Guyon (speaker), Acrasia, The Palmer
Page Number: 382
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sir Guyon Character Timeline in The Faerie Queene

The timeline below shows where the character Sir Guyon appears in The Faerie Queene. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book II: Proem
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...Virginia. He says that he’ll now tell the story of a good Faerie knight called Sir Guyon . (full context)
Book II: Canto I
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...he affects, he turns his attention to a new knight that he happens to meet: Sir Guyon . (full context)
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Like the Redcross Knight, Sir Guyon is elfin, and he has come traveling to faerie land with King Oberon and a... (full context)
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They arrive and find a lady with her clothing torn and hair disheveled. When Sir Guyon tries to approach her, she only becomes more upset. At last, the woman begins talking... (full context)
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...the woods after being defeated in the previous book. Eventually, using their disguises, they convince Sir Guyon to come with them to find the Redcross Knight. (full context)
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Archimago provokes Sir Guyon to try attacking the Redcross Knight, but soon the two knights begin to talk. The... (full context)
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One day during his travels, Sir Guyon comes across the unusual scene of a woman (Amavia) covered in blood with a knife... (full context)
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...story, and she dies soon afterwards, having seemingly stabbed herself in her grief. This moves Sir Guyon to tears. (full context)
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Sir Guyon laments to the Palmer about how humans are mortal. He wants to bury Amavia and... (full context)
Book II: Canto II
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Sir Guyon picks up the baby that was playing in Amavia’s blood. He tries to clean the... (full context)
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Sir Guyon and the Palmer make it to a castle built on a rock by the sea... (full context)
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...knights are brash, and so they typically battle each other to please their ladies, but Sir Guyon is a new opponent for them. (full context)
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At first, Sir Guyon easily beats back the attacks by Sir Huddibras and Sansloy. Then they start a furious... (full context)
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...In the middle sits Medina, who is dignified and eats a proper amount. Medina asks Sir Guyon where he came from, and he replies that he’s been traveling in the service of... (full context)
Book II: Canto III
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The next morning, Sir Guyon gets up and decides to continue on his quest to get vengeance on Acrasia. He... (full context)
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...Braggadochio must be a grand knight who would be familiar with the Redcross Knight and Sir Guyon . Archimago decides to try to plant the rumor that Redcross and Guyon murdered Sir... (full context)
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...advises Braggadochio to get a proper sword in order to slay the Redcross Knight and Sir Guyon , but Braggadochio brags that he doesn’t need a sword. Archimago insists that he will... (full context)
Book II: Canto IV
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Sir Guyon and the Palmer continue on their search for the horse that Guyon rightfully owns. As... (full context)
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Sir Guyon restrains Occasion and stops her from talking, but Furor tries to run away, so Guyon... (full context)
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The injured man tells Sir Guyon that his troubles began with a false squire who pretended to be his friend named... (full context)
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Sir Guyon suggests that the young man could have avoided his problems through temperance. The Palmer agrees... (full context)
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...“Burnt I do burne” begins riding toward them. The varlet, whose name is Atin, warns Sir Guyon to leave the area at once since a deadly knight named Pyrochles will soon be... (full context)
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...out Occasion, who causes strife and even comes to those who aren’t looking for her. Sir Guyon suggests that Atin pass this message on to Pyrochles, but Atin gets defiant and says... (full context)
Book II: Canto V
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Not long after Atin flees, Pyrochles sees Sir Guyon making his way across the plain. Without even greeting Sir Guyon, Pyrochles rides ahead to... (full context)
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Pyrochles calls Sir Guyon a coward for killing his innocent horse. He draws his flaming sword and strikes. Guyon... (full context)
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When Pyrochles stops to catch his breath, Sir Guyon pursues him and forces him to cry for mercy. Being temperate, Guyon agrees to let... (full context)
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Pyrochles ignores Sir Guyon ’s advice and unties Occasion, but he soon finds himself being attacked by Furor. He... (full context)
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...glory in many perilous fights. His lady is the evil sorceress Acrasia (the same one Sir Guyon has been searching for to avenge Amavia). When Atin arrives, he finds Cymochles in a... (full context)
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...vengeance against the man who struck down Pyrochles (who Atin mistakenly believes was killed by Sir Guyon , but who has not actually been struck down). (full context)
Book II: Canto VI
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With his wrath having been kindled by Atin’s story, Cymochles rides forth to find Sir Guyon . He is distracted, however, when he sees a ship carrying a lovely lady going... (full context)
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...Cymochles on the island and goes off on her boat again. This time, she finds Sir Guyon . She persuades Guyon to leave behind the Palmer, which he does reluctantly. When Guyon... (full context)
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Sir Guyon puts aside his discontent for the moment. When they reach the island, Phaedria shows him... (full context)
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Cymochles wakes up, and as he walks around the island, he sees Sir Guyon with Phaedria. He immediately flies into a rage and lunges at him to start a... (full context)
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Phaedria goes on to say that if Cymochles and Sir Guyon really want to fight for her, they should leave aside bloody battles and fight for... (full context)
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After taking Phaedria’s boat back, Sir Guyon is spotted by Atin, who still believes Guyon killed Pyrochles and who shouts insults at... (full context)
Book II: Canto VII
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Having lost contact with his guide, the Palmer, Sir Guyon tries to wander on his own and at last comes to a dismal glade. There... (full context)
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Mammon says that he is willing to give some of his enormous wealth to Sir Guyon so that he can afford whatever he wants. He boasts that he is wealthy enough... (full context)
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...that frail men are often undone by riches, but he suggests that nobler men like Sir Guyon could use riches for good. Mammon repeats that if Guyon would like some of his... (full context)
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Mammon and Sir Guyon walk along a plain where there’s a road that continues all the way down to... (full context)
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Mammon shows Sir Guyon unimaginable wealth, with buildings where the walls, floor, and roof are all gold. They go... (full context)
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Mammon tries to think up other schemes to catch Sir Guyon unaware. So instead of riches, he shows Guyon a fountain that Mammon claims is where... (full context)
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Mammon doesn’t give up. He takes Sir Guyon through a golden gate to a room where Disdain waits for them. He’s like a... (full context)
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...called Philotime, and she was the fairest person in the world. Mammon offers Ambition to Sir Guyon as a spouse, but Guyon says he has already pledged himself to another lady. (full context)
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Mammon leads Sir Guyon now to the Garden of Proserpina, where golden apples grow. Sir Guyon is amazed at... (full context)
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Mammon offers Sir Guyon one of the amazing-looking golden apples. But Guyon finally decides that he’s seen enough, and... (full context)
Book II: Canto VIII
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While Sir Guyon has been in Hell, the Palmer has been wandering around. Suddenly, he comes across Guyon... (full context)
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The Palmer is stunned at apparently seeing an angel. He confirms that Sir Guyon is alive, and then he happens to notice that Pyrochles and Cymochles are on their... (full context)
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Pyrochles and Cymochles take Sir Guyon ’s shield and helmet. Just then, they see the proudest and noblest knight in the... (full context)
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...salutes the knights, but they don’t return the greeting. The Palmer explains to Arthur how Sir Guyon isn’t dead, just in a deep daze. He goes on to say how Pyrochles and... (full context)
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...even more of a disadvantage. The Palmer sees this and gives him the sword of Sir Guyon . Arthur begins attacking again in a rage, like a bull that’s being baited in... (full context)
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Just then, Sir Guyon wakes up from his trance. He looks for his missing equipment. The Palmer informs him... (full context)
Book II: Canto IX
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After Pyrochles and Cymochles are dead, Arthur recovers his stolen sword and returns Sir Guyon ’s stolen shield back to him. Arthur asks Guyon why he has an image of... (full context)
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Sir Guyon and Arthur make their way to a castle where the gate is locked. Arthur’s squire... (full context)
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Sir Guyon and Arthur beat the enemies away, scattering them like sheep. The enemies flee but return... (full context)
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...Praise-desire, and she is pensive because she wants glory but hasn’t achieved it yet. Meanwhile, Sir Guyon entertains a different damsel, who is also fair and so modest that she blushes all... (full context)
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Eventually, Arthur and Sir Guyon leave the ladies as Alma leads them to the wondrous upper parts of the castle,... (full context)
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Alma leads Arthur and Sir Guyon through the sages’ rooms. One room is filled with flies that buzz around like idle... (full context)
Book II: Canto X
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...many of the giants. The history the narrator relates is similar to what Arthur and Sir Guyon are reading in their books. (full context)
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Meanwhile, Sir Guyon has been reading his separate book on the history of faerie land. The narrator claims... (full context)
Book II: Canto XI
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Early in the morning, Sir Guyon and the Palmer set out to continue their adventure. They make it to a river... (full context)
Book II: Canto XII
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Sir Guyon has been sailing for two days with the Palmer when he hears from his boatman... (full context)
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The boatman then tells Sir Guyon about the Wandering Islands, which have Greek names and travel in different directions through the... (full context)
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...boat comes to an island, where a fair, weeping maiden seems to call to them. Sir Guyon wants to turn the boat towards her, but the Palmer warns him that she is... (full context)
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...fearsome winged creatures, like birds, bats, and harpies. But at last, the weather improves and Sir Guyon and the Palmer disembark. As they walk on land, the Palmer keeps evil fiends away... (full context)
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...in flowers and seems wise, but who secretly wants to make men fall. He welcomes Sir Guyon , but Guyon sees through him and breaks his staff. (full context)
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...the bower is as amazing as the gate, with perfect weather and sweet smells everywhere. Sir Guyon is in awe of the place but takes no delight from it. A woman in... (full context)
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...of the fountain, two naked damsels are wrestling with each other. When the maidens see Sir Guyon , they laugh and blush and invite him to join them. The Palmer, however, warns... (full context)
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At last, Sir Guyon and the Palmer make it to the part of the Bower of Bliss where Acrasia... (full context)
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Sir Guyon and the Palmer sneak up on Acrasia and her lover. Then, all of a sudden,... (full context)
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...form by the Palmer’s staff. But Grill still chooses to act like a beast, causing Sir Guyon and the Palmer to lament how some men prefer to remain in filth. They depart. (full context)
Book III: Canto I
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...been spending time at Alma’s castle and has finally recovered from his battle wounds. Meanwhile, Sir Guyon sends Acrasia back in chains to the Faerie Queene and decides to go traveling with... (full context)
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One day on a plain, Sir Guyon spots a knight with an old squire. The knight starts charging at him on his... (full context)
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Sir Guyon would rather die than be shamed, which worries the Palmer, so he persuades Guyon not... (full context)
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Sir Guyon , Arthur, and Britomart travel together for a while, across many countries, having many adventures.... (full context)
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While Sir Guyon and Arthur are going to help the fair lady, Britomart stays behind, then eventually she... (full context)
Book III: Canto II
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Britomart continues to travel with Sir Guyon . She tells him about how she was trained in warlike ways from a young... (full context)
Book III: Canto IV
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...Meanwhile Archimago the evil wizard has been stalking Britomart ever since she left Arthur and Sir Guyon (who were trying to help a damsel who was being chased). (full context)
Book V: Canto III
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Just then, Sir Guyon reveals that he’s in the crowd, and he confronts Braggadochio about stealing his horse (which... (full context)
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Arthegall wants to slay Braggadochio, but Sir Guyon says that Braggadochio’s shame is punishment enough. Talus carries Braggadochio off, shaving his beard and... (full context)