The Faerie Queene, Books Three and Four, Paperback Book


These paired Arthurian legends suggest that erotic desire and the desire for companionship undergird national politics.

The maiden Britomart, Queen Elizabeth's fictional ancestor, dons armor to search for a man whom she has seen in a crystal ball.

While on this quest, she seeks to understand how one can be chaste while pursuing a sexual goal, in love with a man while passionately attached to a woman, a warrior princess yet a wife.

As Spenser's most sensitively developed character, Britomart is capable of heroic deeds but also of teenage self-pity.

Her experience is anatomized in the stories of other characters, where versions of love and friendship include physical gratification, torture, mutual aid, competition, spiritual ecstasy, self-sacrifice, genial teasing, jealousy, abduction, wise government, sedition, and the valiant defense of a pig shed.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Poetry by individual poets
  • ISBN: 9780872208551

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