The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene

by

Edmund Spenser

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Faerie Court Symbol Icon

Faerie Court symbolizes the virtuous ideal for which a good knight should strive. While Faerie Court is never directly depicted in The Faerie Queene, it is frequently referenced as an ideal for how a proper knight should act. While many of the heroes in the epic poem face moments of weakness or moments when they are tempted or misled, the Faerie Queene herself seems to be infallible. Serving the Faerie Queen is such an important duty that the Redcross Knight places service to her above his devotion to his lady Una, and similarly, Arthegall temporarily leaves Britomart in order to help carry out a request for the queen. While Faerie Court can be interpreted as a stand-in for the court of real-life Queen Elizabeth, it arguably takes on even greater significance, embodying the concept of duty itself and even taking on a religious dimension. The service that the various knights in the story render to their Faerie Queene resembles the duty and sacrifice that a good Protestant Christian would render to God. Faerie Court exists in the story as a distant idea of perfection, just as heaven is a distant idea of perfection in Christianity, and this is why service to the Faerie Court is the highest priority for many knights.

Faerie Court Quotes in The Faerie Queene

The The Faerie Queene quotes below all refer to the symbol of Faerie Court. 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 V: Canto XII Quotes

But ere he could reform it thoroughly,
He through occasion called was away,
To Faerie Court, that of necessity
His course of Justice he was forst to stay,
And Talus to revoke from the right way

Related Characters: Arthegall, Talus, Eirena, Grantorto
Related Symbols: Faerie Court
Page Number: 870
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:
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Faerie Court Symbol Timeline in The Faerie Queene

The timeline below shows where the symbol Faerie Court appears in The Faerie Queene. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book I: Canto I
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
British Identity and Nationalism Theme Icon
Protestantism Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...has been sent on a quest to slay a dragon by the great queen of Faerie Court in fairy land, Gloriana. (full context)
Book III: Canto V
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
...badly injure him). When she heard this, Florimell immediately went off to the Faerie Queene’s Faerie Court to try to find out if Marinell is okay and help him. Since the dwarf... (full context)
Book V: Canto XII
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
Eventually, Arthegall leaves because he must return to Faerie Court . As he’s traveling back, he runs into two evil, ugly hags: Envy and Detraction.... (full context)
Book VI: Canto I
Virtue, Allegory, and Symbolism Theme Icon
Deception and Lies Theme Icon
At Faerie Court , where there are many knights and ladies with good manners, there is no knight... (full context)