Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Characters

By Edmund Spenser

Redcrosse

Redcrosse, a.k.a. The Red Cross Knight, a.k.a. St. George, a.k.a. "That knight in Book 1," is a...

Una

Una's name, which means "oneness," is deceptively simple—kind of like her. While "one"...

Sir Guyon

While Redcrosse is mysterious, Guyon, hero of Book 2, is just downright tricky. Not even critics...

Britomart

Britomart is kind of like a medieval Xena, Warrior Princess—but, honestly, she's even...

Arthur

If we could pick one character as The Faerie Queene's all around hero, we'd have to go with...

Arthegall (or Artegall)

Arthegall, whose name suggests the French word for "equal" and...

Calidore

Be sure to mind your pleases and thank yous around this knight, because Calidore is the knight of...

Calepine

If you find yourself confusing Calidore and Calepine, both central knights in Book 6, don't feel...

Florimell & The False Florimell

Now you see her, now you don't, because Florimell doesn't remain in one place for very long....

Belphoebe

Belphoebe, the chaste and powerful huntress who makes various guest-appearances throughout the...

The Faerie Queene or Gloriana or Tanaquill

The Faerie Queene has the distinction of being the only character in The Faerie Queene who we...

Scudamore

If anyone can attest to the frustrations of love in the Faerie Queene, it's got be Scudamore, the...

Satyrane

Half-knight, half-satyr, Satyrane lives halfway between the wildness of nature and the civilizing...

Cambell and Triamond

It's really only fitting to discuss the two main characters from the book of friendship together,...

Marinell

Marin ell is one of the strangest characters in the whole Faerie Queene. It's never clear exactly...

Timias

Though we first meet Timias as just the squire to Arthur, he's one of the only sidekick figures...

Pastorella

Raised amongst shepherds and renowned as the most beautiful shepherdess around, Pastorella really...

Tristram

Like Arthur, Tristram is another knightly figure pulled from a long, pre-existing tradition of...

Caelia

Her name means "heaven" in Latin, and after Redcrosse faces Despair and almost dies, she's...

Medina, Elissa, and Perissa

Okay, to be completely accurate, not everyone in Medina's house deserves the title of Spiritual...

Alma and The Three Counselors

Alma is basically the heart and soul of Book 2. Alma, whose name means "soul," represents the...

Merlin

Merlin comes to The Faerie Queene already with a reputation as the magical dude who's pretty...

Mercilla

Since we never actually get to meet the Faerie Queene, Mercilla is the main character that...

The Hermit

This hermit, a former knight, shows the power of spiritual advice and living right in curing...

The Palmer

While there's a lot be confused about with Guyon, the Palmer, his advisor, is more clear-cut. The...

The Ferryman

This guy only makes a brief appearance at the end of Book 2, but it's an important one. He...

Glauce

Glauce is one exceptional nurse. Her devotion to Britomart in Book 3, where she even disguises...

Canacee and Cambine

Kind of like Cambell and Triamond, Canacee and Cambine, their respective wives and sisters (no,...

Chrysogone

Mother of Amoret and Belphoebe, Chrysogone embodies a deep and pure connection to the heavenly...

Priamond and Dyamond

Priamond, Dyamond, and, their brother Triamond are pretty much the ultimate trio. Their...

Cymoent (Cymodoce)

Sea-nymph mother of Marinell, Cymoent (called Cymodoce in Book 4 for unknown reasons) takes...

Agape

Agape, like Cymoent, is another member of the neurotic-parenting club. Fairy mother of Priamond,...

Talus

We have to admit, we were a wee-bit tempted to put Talus with the villains because, well, Talus...

The Savage Man

Savage is rarely a good thing to be in The Faerie Queene. The other Savage Man we meet, who also...

Bellamour, Claribell, & Melissa

Bellamour and Claribell, the king and queen of Castle Belgard that turn out to be Pastorella's...

Colin Clout

Colin holds a special place in the cast of The Faerie Queene characters for being the only one to...

Coridon

Coridon is pretty much your textbook Pastoral shepherd. Even his name is textbook, appearing the...

Meliboe

His name comes from the Greek word for "honey," which is common image in pastoral poetry, and...

Enias

A minor figure in Book 6 who is unwittingly convinced by the cruel Turpine to kill Arthur, Enias...

Archimago

Archimago's name suggests two different things, which is fitting for a guy who is defined by his...

Duessa

Like her pal Archimago, Duessa is primarily known for never being what she seems. In contrast to...

The Dragon

Yeah, we know that dragons are cool. We wouldn't having a couple of them as pets, or even as...

Sansfoy, Sansjoy, and Sansloy

These troublesome brothers in Book 1 are seriously lacking. Their names literally mean "without...

Pyrocles and Cymochles

Pyrocles and Cymochles are a real nuisance in Book 2. Pyrocles, whose name means "troubled with...

Acrasia

While we don't see a lot of this character, we sure hear a lot about her in Book 2. In fact, it's...

Busirane

Busirane is probably the most unlikeable villain in all of the Faerie Queene, and trust us, he's...

The Blatant Beast

Although this monster at the end of both Books 5 and 6 may not be the most interesting or...

Grantorto

Another problematic giant in the Faerie Queene, Grantorto is terrorizing Eirene—whose name...

Error

We all make mistakes, right? Well, probably not this kind of mistake. Error is essentially a...

Lucifera

You don't want to mess with Lucifera, one of the most elaborately nefarious characters in all of...

Orgoglio

Orgoglio is a real low point for Redcrosse in Book 1. He's unfaithful to Una with Duessa, then is...

Abessa, Corceca, and Kirkrapine

Abessa, Corceca, and Kirkrapine are not the most functional family. Abessa, who runs into Una and...

Despair

Don't be fooled, as Redcrosse is in Book 1, by this seemingly harmless, unarmed man. Despair is a...

Furor and Occasion

Furor and Occasion are one seriously terrible twosome in Book 2. Furor, who's named means "fury,"...

Phaedria

Of all the villains we meet in Book 2 of The Faerie Queene (and there are a lot), Phaedria may...

Mammon

While this guy might have all the money in the world—and we mean literally all of...

The Witch and her Son

If you want a depiction of a classic, fairy-tale witch look no further than Book 3 of Spenser's...

The Foster, or Forester

Dedicated pretty much entirely to chasing after poor Florimell, the unnamed Foster represents the...

Argante and Ollyphant

Twin giant siblings, these two unsavory characters embody sex and lust gone horribly wrong. Every...

The Savage (Lust)

Although the savage who kidnaps and almost rapes Amoret in Book 4 is never named, his...

Sclaunder

Sclaunder, whose name is an early version of the English word "slander," is pretty much the most...

Corflambo

Father of Poeana and captor of Amyas, Corflambo embodies the recklessness and decadence of...

Sanglier

Pollente & Munera

Father and daughter, these two figures embody economic injustice and greed. Pollente uses his...

The Giant with Scales

While there are many giants in the Faerie Queene, you definitely remember this particular giant...

Radigund

Radigund, the Amazon queen and warrior-princess, is pretty much a foil to Britomart, another...

Clarin or Clarinda

Handmaiden to Radigund and go-between for her and Artegall, Clarinda is just further proof that...

Malengin

The ultimate embodiment of guile and deceit, Malengin is in fact out-guiled by Artegall and...

Adicia and The Souldan

Another one of many depictions of tyranny in Book 5, Adicia and the Souldan represent the...

Geryoneo

Geryoneo, another tyrant in Book 5, is a big problem—literally. This half-giant figure has...

Maleger

The Spenserian villain most likely to remind you of a horror movie, Malegar is one creepy dude....

Turpine & Blandina

This dreadful duo is defined by their complete and utter lack of interest in courtesy; Turpine...

Brigants or (Brigands)

Brigands, kind of like a mix between pirates and outlaws, represent the complete opposite of the...

Dolon

One of the many inhospitable characters in the Faerie Queene, Dolon invites Britomart to spend a...

Morpheus

What's so bad about Morpheus in Book 1: he's just the god of sleep and dreams. Sounds pretty...

Night

Since sleeping and dreaming are surprisingly risky activities in Faerie Land (check out Morpheus...

Aesculapius

Aesculapius, a famously talented doctor from Classical mythology, agrees to help Night bring back...

Sylvanus and his Satyrs

While satyrs usually get a pretty bad rep in Classical mythology, the satyrs in the Faerie Queene...

Braggadochio and Trompart

While we can't really call this duo villainous, they're definitely not a force for good in Faerie...

Malecasta

While Malecasta is definitely not much of a threat to Britomart or the other knights in Book 3,...

Proteus

Proteus is one shifty guy. And that's not just because he isn't trustworthy; it's also because...

Malbecco (Jealousy) and Hellenore

While Malbecco is a pretty unlikeable guy, it's hard not feel a tad sorry for him in Book 3. He...

The Squire of Dames

The Squire of Dames of pretty much the ultimate ladies' man, and in Spenser's Faerie Queene,...

Paridell

Paridell embodies the worst elements of a court culture: seemingly refined and sophisticated, but...

Blandamour, Claribell, & Duron

An embodiment of everything that opposes friendship in Book 4, The Book of Friendship, Blandamour...

Burbon & Fleurdelis

A knight who Arthegall helps deals with the tyrant Grantorto, Burbon is one of the most direct...

Poeana

Daughter of Corflambo, Poeana seems to be yet another embodiment of the problem of unrestrained...

Briana & Crudor

Talk about a couple with relationship issues. Briana is head over heels for Crudor, but Crudor...

Decetto, Defetto, & Despetto

Vowing to unfairly slander Arthur's squire Timias, these three troublesome brothers are yet...

Fraudubio

When you meet a guy who's been turned into a tree, you know that something is up. And sure...

Amavia, Mordant, and Ruddymane

The encounter with Amavia in Book 2 might be one of the saddest in the whole Faerie Queene. Dying...

Phaon or Phedon

If you think love is the best thing ever no question, try chatting with Phaon, the victim of...

Amoret

There are a lot of sad characters in Spenser's Faerie Queene, but none really tops the...

Amyas and Placidas

A pair of BFFs in Book 4, The Book of Friendship, Amyas and Placidas manifest their closeness...

Belgae or Belge

Her name really gives it away: the forlorn Queen Belge is meant to be an embodiment of the...

Samient

Handmaiden to the great Queen Mercilla, Samient appeals to Arthur and Artegall to help her and...

Aladine and Aldus

Aladine, son of Aldus, is injured by a proud knight who is after his sweetheart, Priscilla. He...

Matilda (Matilde) & Bruin

The story of Matilde and Bruin has all the makings of a classic fairy tale: the villain...

Mirabella

Poor Mirabella. Sure, the girl made some mistakes in her time, but boy is she paying for them....

Serena

Serena, whose name means "calm" or "peaceful," is constantly the victim of a large, public world...