Briefly discuss the works of Edmund Spenser?



He was a poet in the Elizabethan period, considered the best after Shakespeare. He modeled his verse on Geoffrey Chaucer – tried to imitate his language and continue the past, not break from it.
The works:
– The Shepherd’s Calendar:
o 12 monthly eclogues, which contain pastoral dialogues, monologues and allegories
o Stock characters take place in the work; the debates range from politics to ceremony
o 3 principal themes: love, poetry, religion
– Amoretti sonnets:
o 89 sonnets
o Probably celebrate his love for Elizabeth Boyle, whom he married
o The story of a lover wooing a mistress, who at first refuses him, then returns his love and finally turns against him again (what a bitch). Spenser describes her beauty in details, colors.
– Epithalamion
o Superb work, surpasses Amoretti
o 23 stanzas of 17-19 lines
o A marriage hymn, a description of the poet‘s wedding day – autobiographical work
o Sees the mistress not as an unattainable image of perfection, but as a creature reflecting, and sometimes clouding the glory of her Divine Creator
– The Fairie Queene
o His most famous work
o An English Christian humanist epic, an epic work of great proportion
o Simultaneously celebrates the pastoral past and Queen Elizabeth I; draws a parallel between the mythical King Arthur and Elizabeth.
o A continued allegory; highly metaphorical – Elizabeth appears in many disguises
o 7 books:
 1. HOLINESS
 2. TEMPERANCE
 3. CHASTITY
 4. FRIENDSHIP
 5. JUSTICE
 6. COURTESY
 7. MUTABILITY

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