Gloriana, Biblical Typology, and Moral Transfiguration

  • Donald Stump
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


Connected with the problem of royal idealization in The Faerie Queene is an apparent conflict between the poet’s announced purpose to portray universal ideals of Christian virtue and his claims to be a “poet historicall” in the tradition of Virgil. This chapter argues that Spenser took a different view of history than the ancient classical writers, modeling the narratives of The Faerie Queene on scriptural history, which taught ideals of morality, theology, and politics through accounts of sinful human beings. Contrasting Virgil’s Aeneas with Spenser’s more errant Prince Arthur, Spenser develops a Protestant poetics in which types of Elizabeth resemble imperfect Old Testament types of Christ. Scriptural accounts of Moses and Elijah offer the nearest analogs to Spenser’s narrative techniques in presenting his Arthurian representations of Elizabeth.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Stump
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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