Edmund Spenser – The Faerie Queene (ctd.)

“The wofull Dwarfe” (I 7. 163) picks up the armour left by his master behind and leaves the place where Redcrosse was kidnapped. Soon he meets Una, who seeing him carrying the armour of her beloved, interprets it as the confirmation of the news of her death and faints. The Dwarf succeeds in bringing her round, only to let Una harangue her eyes not to see anything again and the sun to switch off, because once Redcrosse is gone, there is nothing in the world worth seeing for her (lady, has it occurred to you that there are some people in the world who still find it interesting even if your boyfriend’s gone?). Then Una faints again, and again, and the dwarf has to revive her three times. I hope he slapped her the third time. The whole situation is too close for comfort to Jane Austen’s Love and Freindship – “We fainted alternately on a sofa.” Finally Una decides to stay awake and begs the dwarf to tell her the whole story, as nothing worse than the news of Redcrosse’s death can happen to her. The dwarf tells her the whole story going back to Canto 2 while Una bravely listens, trying to master her grief. I would first pissed that my boyfriend is cheating on me (and Spenser is unclear here, as usual, but I guess Una doesn’t know at this point that he mistakenly thought she slept around, so he doesn’t have even this justification) and maybe a bit relieved that at least there’s a slim chance he might be still alive. But of course Una has no normal human emotions.


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