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Renaissance PsychologiesSpenser and Shakespeare$
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Robert Lanier Reid

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526109170

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526109170.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 08 April 2020

Hierarchic architecture in The Faerie Queene

Hierarchic architecture in The Faerie Queene

(p.179) 5 Hierarchic architecture in The Faerie Queene
Renaissance Psychologies

Robert Lanier Reid

Manchester University Press

Christian Platonic hierarchy shapes Spenser’s epic: a hierarchic family triad, three stages of fall and of recovery. Spenser radically revises this allegory, blamingman, whomwoman lovingly seeks to cure. Books 3-5 show Britomart’s chaste power defeating all males, freeing woman from mastery and self-induced suffering. Theintellective allegory of books 1 and 2reform higher reason, then lower reason, each intripartite form:a triadic family, triple temptings, three-phasetraining of the spiritual and then natural bodies, ending withatriadic Eden.The passional allegory of books 3 and 4 is again transcendent, then immanent. Britomart brings female ascendancy by chaste skill with arms and providential goals. Sheunfolds in three heroic Graces (Florimell, Belphoebe, Amoret). In these passional books the male counterparts (Artegall, Marinell, Timias, Scudamour) are paralyzed;virtuous reunion comes by female prowess and endurance, aided by mothers and female deities. A female theologyrests on virginity and marriage, immaculate conception, Trinitarian identity, epiphanic unveilings, female endurance of a Passion. The sensate allegory of books 5 and 6 subject even Gloriana/Mercilla and Arthur toconfusing materialism. Does the ontological ‘dilation’ of books 1-6 (narrowing images of Duessa, Timias, and satyrs-salvages)show despondency about Irish terrors, or prepare for reversal in books 7-12?

Keywords:   holisticdesign, hierarchic images, man-woman-child/servant, theological anthropology, Christian-Platonic tripartism, intellective allegory, female heroism, passional theology, Britomart, materialist shrinkage

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