Study Guide

Belgae or Belge in The Faerie Queene

By Edmund Spenser

Belgae or Belge

Her name really gives it away: the forlorn Queen Belge is meant to be an embodiment of the country of Belgium, suffering (as the English would have it) under the conquest of Spain (embodied by Grantorto).

Arthur's intervention of behalf of Belge represents the English military intervention during Belgium's occupation. But on a more general level, Belge also represents the oppression experienced under cruel tyranny. Belge's pathetic situation as a widow and mother who has lost almost all of her seventeen children maker her truly emblematic of the pain and loss felt under unjust rule.