The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

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The carle Character Analysis

The carle is an unnamed wild man who lives in the woods and who rapes and eats women. He captures Amoretta and Aemylia. Though he is based on racist stereotypes of a “savage,” he may also be a parody of Catholics, who believe in literally eating the body of Christ during communion (which is “cannibalism” to Protestants like Spenser who believe the Eucharist is only symbolic).
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The carle Character Timeline in The Faerie Queene

The timeline below shows where the character The carle appears in The Faerie Queene. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book IV: Canto VII
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...wild-looking “savage” man with hair everywhere and huge teeth who is known only as the carle (similar to churl, a rude person). He wears nothing except a green loincloth as he... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The other captive cries that she has been imprisoned by an evil carle who deflowers chaste women, then eats them—the captive has already seen it happen seven times.... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Soon, the carle comes back, and Amoretta decides she’s going to run. She flees through the forest with... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Timias and the carle fight, with the “savage” man using his club and even using Amoretta as a human... (full context)
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The carle believes Belphoebe will be the cause of his death, so he flees back to his... (full context)
Book IV: 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
...are staying. He is moved because both of them seem seriously injured after escaping the carle’s den. He gives them a liquor to cure them. They explain how they were saved... (full context)