Edmund Spenser – The Faerie Queene (ctd.)

The Redcrosse Knight and the Saracen fight for a long time, their strength being equal. The Saracen says that that  Redcrosse should have been dead a long time ago were it not for the sign of the cross that protects him. Finally Redcrosse kills the Saracen and Saracen’s girlfriend takes flight. Redcrosse tells the Dwarf to pick up Saracen’s shield as a sign of his victory and pursues the lady and overtakes her. She cries and begs for mercy, he explains that she can fear no harm from him but would like to know her story. She says she is the daughter of the might emperor of the West, residing over the Tiber river (i.e. she is Rome) and she was betrothed to a powerful and wonderful prince but her fiance was murdered before their wedding. The fiance is of course Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and we are in the midst of another extended allegory about the Papal Rome and God.

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