duality paper

duality paper - Jennifer Cardente Brit Lit 251 April 9 2008...

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Jennifer Cardente Brit. Lit. 251 April 9, 2008 Duality in Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queen” and John Donne’s “ The Bait” The use of imagery contrasting unity against duality is prevalent throughout the literature of the Renaissance or Early Modern Period. Edmund Spenser and John Donne are two writers who use the image of duality heavily in their poetry. Edmund Spenser’s Epic the “The Faerie Queene” reads as one big allegory, making a statement against Catholicism. Donne’s use of metaphors takes his poetry to a new level. The metaphysical style of poetry that Donne is known for is unlike most to date. His use of strange and unconventional metaphors has caused many critics to contradict his use of dual natured symbolism. Instead of being seen for the beauty the metaphor represents many were unable to get past the crude nature of the imagery he chose to portray in his poetry. Both poets can be seen as visionaries of a deeper truth using the imagery of duality as their method of depiction. Edmund Spenser's The “The Faerie Queene” delights in its use of symbolism to reveal the moral struggle of his characters and the journey toward enlightenment they must seek to fulfill their destinies. Theme and character are two important tools in which Spenser delivers his message of spiritual enlightenment and religious beliefs. More over Spenser uses duality to symbolize the spiritual journey undertaken by the poem's main character, the Redcrosse Knight. Right from the beginning Spenser uses duality, as evident in the title itself, the Faerie Queene representing the Protestant Queen Elizabeth of England.
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The poem, "The Faerie Queene", is a story about a courageous knight who goes through great trials all in the hopes of winning the affection Una. This in itself is entertaining, however underneath it has numerous allegorical references to Christianity. The character of Una for instance is an allegory for unity, truth, innocence and the one true Protestant church. Una is contrasted against Duessa, who represents a duality, Catholicism and evil. In many instances Spenser uses the power of allegory to get his more personal message of Christianity and the evils of Catholicism across. In a time when the country’s religion was changing with each new ruler it was difficult to find a balance between the combating previous rule of Catholicism and the current reign of Protestantism. Spencer’s purpose behind writing “The Faerie Queene was to make a statement on one of the twenty four Christian virtues, holiness. He did this using the extended metaphor
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duality paper - Jennifer Cardente Brit Lit 251 April 9 2008...

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