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The Faerie Queen In The Faerie Queene Spenser creates an allegory The characters of his far-off fanciful Faerie Land are meant to have a symbolic meaning in the real world In Books I and III the poet follows the journeys of two knights Redcrosse and Britomart and in doing so he examines the two virtues he considers most important to Christian life--Holiness and Chastity Redcrosse the knight of Holiness is much like the Apostle Peter In his eagerness to serve his Lord he gets himself into unforeseen trouble that he is not yet virtuous enough to handle His quest is to be united with Una who signifies Truth--Holiness cannot be attained without knowledge of Christian truth In his immature state he mistakes falsehood for truth by following the deceitful witch Duessa He pays for this mistake with suffering but in the end this suffering makes way for his recovery in the House of Holiness aided by Faith Hope and Charity With newfound strength and the grace of God he is able to conquer the dragon that represents all the evil in the world In a different manner Britomart also progresses in her virtue of chastity She already has the strength to resist lust but she is not ready to accept love the love she feels when she sees a vision of her future husband in a magic mirror She learns to incorporate chaste resistance with active love which is what Spenser sees as true Christian love moderation Whereas Redcrosse made his own mistakes to show to us the consequences of an unholy life it is not Britomart but the other characters in Book III who show the destructive power of an unchaste life Spenser says in his Preface to the poem that his goal is to show how a virtuous man should live The themes of Book I and Book III come together in the idea that our native virtue must be augmented or
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