Study Guide

Decetto, Defetto, & Despetto in The Faerie Queene

By Edmund Spenser

Decetto, Defetto, & Despetto

Vowing to unfairly slander Arthur's squire Timias, these three troublesome brothers are yet another embodiment of slander found in Book 6. And in case this wasn't enough to help you associate them with the Blatant Beast, they actually conjure the Blatant Beast to help them attack Timias. T

he fact that the brothers are described as "all three to each unalike, yet all made in one mould" (III.xii.24) shows that the threat of shame isn't just one single thing but has multiple and various faces. And it's their numbers that ultimately get to Timias before Arthur saves him, since he has trouble fighting all three of them at once. It's not only their malicious desire to malign Timias that makes them emblematic of anti-courtesy, it's also their unfair fighting tactics that don't abide by the basic laws of chivalry.