Chapter

Psyche's Daughter: Pleasure and <i>The Faerie Queene</i>

Robert H. F. Carver

in The Protean Ass

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780199217861
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712357 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217861.003.0012

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Psyche's Daughter: Pleasure and The Faerie Queene

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This chapter discusses Apuleian influences in The Faerie Queene. It argues that Spenser used different parts of The Golden Ass in various ways and with varying degrees of success. Meroë and Pamphile contributed to the pool of attributes from which Duessa and Acrasia emerged, and the combination of Homeric, Italian, and Apuleian elements was, by and large, an effective one. The account of Psyche's fall supplied a screen behind which Una could be clothed in the human colours that strict allegory would deny her, while Apuleius' description of her exile and her responses to trials and adversity provided a backdrop against which the virtues both of Una and Guyon could be measured. But it is when Spenser — in Muiopotmos as well as in The Faerie Queene — makes explicit reference to ‘Cupid and Psyche’ that the difficulties really begin.

Keywords: The Faerie Queene; Psyche; pleasure; Spenser; Muiopotmos

Chapter.  20465 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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