University of Pittsburgh

Faerie Queene, The

Spenser long poem, 1589 and 1596

Fishburn and Hughes: "The foremost English epic poem of the Renaissance, written by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) in heroic or 'Spenserian' stanzas (rhyming pattern: ababbcbcc). The poem is highly allegorical, in the tradition of Ariosto and Tasso, though based upon English legend. It is set in the land of Fairie (England) ruled by its queen Gloriana (Elizabeth) and tells of the adventures of six of her knights, each representing a different virtue. Spenser uses the example of the mythical world of romance to illustrate the political and ecclesiastical conflict between Protestant England and Catholic Spain. A serious ethical intention underlies the poem, the conceits of the knights' adventures exemplifying a moral quest in which the individual, faced by the mysteries of life, chooses the principal Christian virtues of valour, temperance, friendship, love, justice and courtesy.

The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim , CF 86: comparison between the mystical quest in 'The Approach to Almotasim' and The Faerie Queene is well-founded: it has been said that 'enjoyment of the poem's sensuous surface is itself to undergo an experience, an ascent in vision with the protagonist' (A. Kent Hieatt, Short Time’s Endless Monument, 1960).

The Aleph, CF 285: in book 3 (2. 19) the story is told of a mirror made by Merlin for King Ryence which gives him the power to see all. It is in the form of a glass orb, shaped like the world, and enables the viewer to look into the hearts of men and foresee the intentions of his enemies and the treachery of his friends." (69-70)

Borges Index: 
El acercamiento a Almotásim, Historia de la eternidad, OC, 418. El Aleph, El Aleph, OC, 627. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Otras inquisiciones, OC, 671. El Unicornio, El libro de los seres imaginarios, OCC, 703.