2.30: Reading and Review Questions
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1. How, in what ways, and why does Spenser identify the Redcrosse Knight with/as St. George?
2. Archimago seems to act as an artist figure, as representing the imagination’s power to recreate images. What does he suggest about art, about the power of art? How does Spenser’s comments on the uses and abuses of art compare with Chaucer’s?
3. How does the House of Pride hearken back to medieval allegory, and why? How does it compare with that of Everyman or Gawain and the Green Knight, for example?
4. Unlike holiness, temperance is a physical virtue. How does the landscape in Book II reflect this physicality?
5. Britomart, a female, is the Knight of Chastity. Yet her story is seminal, genealogical, in that she figures as a mother (of Elizabeth I) of a multitude through the dynasty that leads from Brutus to Arthur to Artegall (Arthur’s brother by Igrain) to Elizabeth. What does Spenser’s art suggest about sexuality here? Why does sex and subterfuge go so often together? How does sexuality become a virtue?