Study Guide

Calepine in The Faerie Queene

By Edmund Spenser

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If you find yourself confusing Calidore and Calepine, both central knights in Book 6, don't feel too bad, these guys are pretty similar—even their names are very similar. Indeed, many readers understand Calepine to be a kind of surrogate for Calidore throughout the middle of Book 6, engaging in knightly and courteous activities while Calidore chases down the Blatant Beast.

Many readers have also understood Calepine to be a kind of Calidore-in-training, since Calepine seems to have a little more trouble with the whole knight thing than Calidore does. Calepine is frequently unseated from his horse, loses Serena simply by getting lost in the forest, and only saves her "by chaunce, more than by choice" (VI.viii.46)—not necessarily the epitome of heroic behavior. But Calepine remains courteous throughout, showing that courtesy doesn't require you to be a perfect knight, but to be a perfect knight, you must have courtesy.

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