The Faerie Queene- Canto IV

Canto IV of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene details the happenings inside of the House of Pride. The House of Pride appears to the naive eye a lavish and extravagant palace, but Spenser notes “A stately Pallace built of squared bricke, Which cunningly was without morter laid, Whose wals were high, but nothing strong, nor thick, And golden foile all over them displaid” (Spenser Canto IV lines 4-8). The House of Pride is detailed in a way that satisfies the superficial wandering eye, but is not properly build on a strong foundation. Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is an allegory for the struggle between the corrupt Catholic Church, and the Christian truth. This description of the House of Pride can be read as a symbolic description of the Catholic Church, which projects materialistic goodness, but has strayed from the rightness and goodness internally.

Spenser would assert that Christianity is a reflection of the inherent goodness and rightness that is present within the world. This form of thought follows the same logic as Kohak’s discussion of the inherent rightness of the cosmos. Man kind’s moral laws, such as the ten commandments in Judeo-Christian religions, are not arbitrary rules to abide by. Rather, they are an expression of the moral sense of nature. Spenser’s Canto IV is timeless, articulating values that “with a remarkable degree of agreement amid cultural differences… express the same basic sense of being and of being human” (Kohak 78).

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