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Spenser's pleasure, but also a medium for moral elevation. It is not only to amuse but also to teach the doctrine of noble behaviour and righteous action. The Faerie Queen stands out as a monument of the moral principles emphasising all the cardinal virtues of human life. The general purpose of The Faerie Queene is "to fashion a gentle man or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.

"Spenser's conception of poetry is derived from Aristotle and Plato, who regard poets as moral teachers. Equally influenced by Homer, Spenser believes that Homer opened the way for moral edification. Thus following the examples of classical poets, Spenser introduces high seriousness, morality and didacticism.

Spenser borrows the delicate and refined forms of Platonic philosophy to express his moral idealism. He loves all that is noble and pure. He seems to have been fired with a passionate sense of moral beauty. The outer beauty is to him but the expression of the inner beauty of the soul. He thinks after Plato that the reality of a heavenly beauty is known in and by the soul only whereas the earthly beauty is recognised by the senses. The beauty form of beauty. This wisdom or spiritual beauty inflames a man's heart when it is seen by him. U a in the first book of The Faerie Queene represents not only the Protestant Church but also this truth. Duessa stands for the Catholic Church and its forces. The manhood or Holiness is represented by the Red Cross Knight, and Archimago, the hypocrisy of intriguing and tricky Catholics. Giant Orgoglio represents the common vulgar pride in the power of the world. Thus the first book of The Faerie Queene gives, in an allegorical form of the history, English Reformation.Those who read Spenser's Faerie Queene at once recognises in him a devout and ardent puritan and protestant defending the English Reformation against the supremacy of Rome and Papal authority. He certainly moralises his song successfully and proves the truth of what he says at an earlier stage-

'Fierce wars and faithful loves shall moralise my song'

While we go through The Faerie Queene, we have the impression that Spenser is a puritan. He gives a conflict between the spirit of the Renaissance and that of the Reformation. He works to bring about their reconciliation. Renaissance gave sanction for the enjoyment of the good things of life on earth, but the Reformation put a ban on the sensuous life of enjoyment. To the supporter of the Reformation, the good things of the earth are but a temptation. Spenser finds out between these two things that correspondence which is necessary for their reconciliation. He makes an allegorical approach and points out that the things on the earth are but reflections of things in heaven. Earthly love and earthly beauty are the reflections of heavenly love and heavenly beauty.

Spenser certainly loves beauty, but he is not merely confined to the earthly beauty. He thinks of heavenly beauty and heavenly love. Spenser harmonised the world of the Renaissance with that of Reformation. Behind the pictures that he paints like a great sensuous artist, there is the heart of the devout Christian that never allows the sensuous pleasures to override the considerations of a noble and virtuous life.


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