The Faerie Queene is set in a fictional and fantastical realm called Faerie Land (sometimes referred to as “Faerie Lond” in the poem). This setting is defined by chivalry, magic, and romance, drawing inspiration from medieval and Arthurian legends but also incorporating elements of classical mythology, folk tales, and biblical narratives. As the poem progresses, the setting shifts to various enchanted landscapes, forests, castles, and cities as the knights embark on their respective quests, each representing a specific virtue. These settings are often inhabited by magical beings, mythical creatures, and powerful sorcerers, adding to the fantastical nature of the poem.
Though Faerie Land is in many ways a poetic or symbolic representation of England, they are also two distinct locations within the poem. In fact, a number of characters, including the Redcross Knight and Arthur, were born in England and later brought to Faerie Land by faeries. On the topic of Arthur’s background, Spenser writes:
For this young Prince, when first to armes he fell;
But when he dyde, the Faerie Queene it brought
To Faerie lond, where yet it may be seene, if sought.
Arthur, then, has in fact died in battle in England, and he experiences Faerie Land as something like an afterlife or a parallel world after being brought there by the Faerie Queene herself. The narrator notes that all which is “sought” can be found in Faerie Land, implying that this magical realm, in which medieval knights brush shoulders with classical gods and figures from the Bible, contains everything the reader might hope to read more about.