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Altaf Ahmed Sheikh B.A (Hons.

) English Part-III

:Assignment on
Allegories in Faerie Queene

:Submitted to
Madam Samina Abbas

:Submitted by

Altaf Ahmed Sheikh

B.A (Hons.) English Part-III
Roll No. 10
,Institute of English
,University of Sindh

14th June; 2008

A ltaf s heikh1988@ g ma m

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Altaf Ahmed Sheikh B.A (Hons.) English Part-III

What is an allegory?
A discourse having dual meaning; Superficial & deeper; apparent &
hidden. Allegory is also defines as story or visual image with a second distinct
meaning partially hidden behind its literal or visible meaning. An allegory may be
conceived as a metaphor that is extended into a structured system.

Allegories in Book – I of Faerie Queene

Edmund sponsor's book-I of Faerie Queen is full of allegorical
significance. He himself made it clear in opening stanza of poem that he is going to
praise noble knights and ladies, whose good deeds have remained unsung rance long
"And ring of knights and ladies gentle deeds; whose praises having
slept in silence long"

His rong shall celebrate force works and faithful loves and shall seek to draw moral
lesson from them. So, it is clear that main purpose of writer is to give us moral lesson.
We find this behind the portrayal of various characters and incidents that look place in
the poem. All deeds of various characters comes under the banner of chivalry.
The moral allegory progresses from canto to canto in a steady and
logical manner. In opening of poem sponsor praises Fairly Queen Gloriana who
symbolizes Glory and Prince Arthur who symbolizes magnificence or private virtue.
The greatest Irle is great Britain.

"The patron of true Holiness

Foule Errour doth defente:
Hypocririe, him to entreate,
Doth to his home entreate."

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Altaf Ahmed Sheikh B.A (Hons.) English Part-III

The Red cross knight who rides a horse symbolizes Holiness. The
Queen Gloriana has given a task to Red cross knight of kalling horrible cruel Dragon.
Allegorically Glory has given a task to Holiness of encountering san or Devil. By rid
of knight rode lovely lady on Ass, she led in a flaxen cord a milk white lamb by her
ride. Here lovely lady is vna, who symbolizes truth. The Ass represents humility and
the lamb innocence. He the poet allegorically suggests that trught rests on humility
and is accompanied by innocence. The Holiness is going to free humanity from
tyranny of sin or Devil. Further, red cross knight look quarrel with a mortar which is
error. Allegorically Holiness conquers this error which, always threats humanity.
The guileful great Enchanter parts the Red Cross Knight from Truth
into whose stead faire Falsehood steps; and works him woeful truth.
To rinful house of Pryde Ducrra, Guydes the Faithful Knight; where,
brother death to wreak, sansjoy doth challenge him to fight
Afterwards Una or truth takes Holiness to the house of Holiness. Here,
Holiness gains a real insight to itself. Holiness here made conscious of its own
potentialities. It is also made aware of its rest destination. In recond last canto,
Holiness encounters with Dregon or sin. He completes his task by killing the Dragm,
though with difficulty. Allegorically, at last Holiness defeated devil. But with help of
Christ and Gospel of Christ. In last canto we witness the completion of Red cross
knight's task, and his recnim with his beloved Una. Allegorically, mankind has been
liberated from tyranny of Satin or Devil.
Thus, the moral allegory is kept up with perfect consistency in Book-I
of Faerie Queen. This also makes it more attractive and beautiful.
The historic-political allegory is nto constant and containous through
out the poem. Edmund sponsor praises fairy Queen Gbriana who represents Queen
Elizabeth and spiritual beauty, and prince Arthur who represents lord Leicester and
Protestantism or the church Militant.
The red cross knight who rides a horse represents St.
George and reformed church of England. According to some critics he also resembles
king Henry-VII. Queen Elizabeth has given task to St. George killing of Dregon who
represents satan, Rome and Spain. By ride of knight rode lovely lady on Ass, whose
face is veiled. Here lovely lady is Una, who represents true religion and Anne Boleyn.
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Altaf Ahmed Sheikh B.A (Hons.) English Part-III

Her veiled face symbolizes that true religion is not fully exposed. St. George is going
to free parents of Una who represents the old and new treatment. They also represent
classical philosophies.
Further, Red cross knight took quarrel with monster. Allegorically, Red
cross knight removes. Error of learning, Books which monster vomit out represent
false doctrine and teachings of Roman Catholic. After removing error, they both
became victim of Archimago who represents Philip-II was supporter of Roman
Catholicism. With help of spirits Una as made untrue to knight lying with squire.
Allegorically represents the adulterous charges which were brought against Anne
Boleyn by her enemies. In Conto-II Red cross knight or St. George encounters
sansfoy with him lady meets named Ducra. Ducrra represents Queen Mary of Sorts,
Church of Rome and false religion.
Lady Una who was dragged by sans loy in forest but she was rescued
by satyrs and fauns. Allegorically means the attraction of people towards Anglican
church. The come Sir Satyrane to protect her. Sir Satyrane represens law and order in
Ireland and Sir John Perrott. Who assumed the reform leadership on cromwell's death.
Red cross knight still in companionship of Duessa brings up punishment in shape of
Giant called orgoglio. Who captures Red cross knight along with Ducrra. This episode
shows difficult hours of Reformation and refers to the reign of Mary Tudor. Orgoglio
represents pope sixtus v, who was against reformation.
On the other hand Una or truth meets prince Arthur, who symoblises
Protestantism, or the church Militant and Leicester. Further Prince Arthur rescues Red
cross knight from Orgoglio, allegorically shows rise of Protestantism and reformation.
The unmarked of Duessa shows the end of Catholicism in England and full power of
Protestantism. The adventure of St. George in care of Despair means that
disheartening prospect both in matters of church and state, which confronted England
upon the accrrion of Elizabeth. But just as Una snatches the knife from the hands of
the knight, so did Elizabeth give fresh heart to a despairing nation. In the final conflict
of Red cross knight with the Dragon is depicted the last great chapter in the conflict
wath Roman Catholicism, this chapter focuses up Queen Mary of Scots. It draws a
sharp line between England and Rome, and England's ecclesiastical policy was
permanently defined.

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Altaf Ahmed Sheikh B.A (Hons.) English Part-III

In final canto union of England and true religion is expressed. The

divine marrion of St. Geroge is achieved and England had become defender of true
religion. Now true religion is fully revealed every where in England.


A S Hornby. (1995) Oxford dictionary of advanced learners. Oxford University

Legouis & Cazamian. (1933) History of English Literature.
J.A. Cuddon. (1998) Literary terms & Literary theory. Penguin Books England.
Enright, D. J. (1966) English Critical Texts. Oxford University Press.
Shah, S. A. (2003) Exploring the world of English, Markazi Kutub Khana

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