Edmund Spenser – The Faerie Queene (ctd.)

The false Una declares her love for the Redcrosse Knight and claims it was this love which made her leave her father’s kingdom. (How come if she didn’t meet him before?) The Redcrosse Knight says that her love did not “fall to ground” and that he is her servant. I am not sure if that counts as a declaration of love, but he asks Una to go back to her bed, alone. She leaves, and the Knight is left to her musings – he feels sorry that his love is so “light”, i.e. easy, and then falls again to his uneasy sleep “with bowres and beds and Ladies deare delight”. With this Canto 1 ends.

The morning approaches – the Big Dipper is behind the every-steady Northern Star (an important metaphor in the texts that deals with deceit). The sprites report their failed mission to the Archimago, who is very angry with them, but has to come up with another plan. So he turns the other sprite into a young squire who has spent his life so far in making love, not war, and puts him together with the false Una to have sex. Then he runs to the knight crying “Wake up, your beloved is cheating on you!” The knight wakes up, rushes to the place where he sees his beloved in “wanton lust and false embracement”. He is about to kill them both but the hermit restrains him.

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