Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Quotes

By Edmund Spenser

  • Love

    Love of your selfe [Redcrosse], [the False Una] said, and deare constraint/ Lets me not sleepe, but waste with wearie night/ In secret anguish… (I.i.53)

    The False Una knows exactly what to say in order to sound like she's tortured by love for Redcrosse. Characters articulate very similar sentiments throughout the poem.

    That ydle name of love, and lovers life,/ As losse of time, and vertues enemy/ I ever scorned… (I.ix.10)

    How naïve young Arthur sounds! He actually seems to believe that he can live a life without love in the world of The Faerie Queene. Think again, Arthur, think again.

    These two gay knights [Huddibras and Sansloy], vowd to so diuerse loues,/ Each other does enuie with deadly hate,/ And dayly warre against his foeman moues. (II.ii.19)

    Love and harmony rarely actually go together in Faerie Land, as these two knights make very clear. Can love produce hate?

    [Verdant's] warlike armes, the idle instruments/ Of sleeping praise, were hong ypon a tree,… Ne for them, ne for honour cared hee… But in lewd loues, and wastfull luxuree,/ His dayes, his goods, his bodie he did spend. (II.xii.80)

    Verdant, under the curse of Acrasia in the Bower of Bliss, shows us that while the right kind of love is fundamental to a knight's identity, the wrong kind of love totally completely incompatible.

    Euen the famous Britomart it was,/ Whom straunge aduenture did from Britaine fet,/ To seeke her louer (loue farre sought alas,)/ Whose image she had seene in Venus looking glas. (III.i.8)

    Although romantic love is important to all the knights we meet—except for Guyon—Britomart is the first to be introduced to us primarily through her quest to find her love.

    And [Amoret] before the vile Enchaunter [Busirane] sate,/ Figuring straunge characters of his art… And all perforce to make her him to loue./ Ah who can loue the worker of her smart?/ A thousand charmes he formerly did proue;/ Yet thousand charmes could not her stedfast heart remoue. (III.xii.31)

    Even though Busirane has literally removed Amoret's heart from her body, his inability to make her actually love him through magic, as opposed to genuine affection, means her metaphorical "heart" remains untouched.

    Lightly [Scudamore] clipt her twixt his armes twaine,/ And streightly did embrace her body bright,/ Her body, late the prison of sad paine,/ Now the sweet lodge of loue and deare delight:/ But she faire Lady ouercommen quight/ Of huge affection, did in pleasure melt,/ And in sweete rauishment pourd out her spright… (III.xii.45 1590)

    This astonishing passage from the 1590 edition of the Faerie Queene completely distinguishes the physical love between Amoret and Scudamore from the physical attempts by Busirane to force Amoret to love him.

    Such ones ill iudge of loue, that cannot loue,/ Ne in their frosen hearts feele kindly flame:/ For thy, they ought not thing vnknowne reproue,/ Ne naturall affection faultlesse blame. (IV.proem.2)

    Introducing Book IV, Spenser comes right out with it and suggests that his poem isn't just about love but is a defense of love.

    What vertue is so fitting for a knight,/ Or for a Ladie, whom a knight should loue,/ As Curtesie, to beare themselues aright/ To all of each degree, as doth behoue? (IV.ii.1)

    If you want to be a lover in Faerie Land, courtesy is clearly a necessary skill. Any guesses on why?

    Who now does follow the foule Blatant Beast,/ Whilest Calidore does follow that faire Mayd… now entrapt of loue, which him betrayd,/ He mindeth more, how he may be relieue/ With grace from her, whose loue his heart hath sore engrieued. (VI.x.1)

    While love may be a primary part of being a knight, sometimes it gets in the way of other knightly duties… like saving the world.

  • Religion

    And on [Redcrosse's] brest a bloddie Crosse he bore,/ For deare rememberance of his dying Lord. (I.i.2)

    Spenser points out the centrality of religion to Redcrosse's life and to his very identity by making an, er, red cross Redcrosse's emblem.

    And there beside of marble stone was built/ An Altare, carv'd with cunning ymagery,/ On which trew Christians blood was often spilt. (I.viii.36)

    This altar, located in Orgoglio's castle, depicts a fear Christians had during Spenser's time that they would be killed by non-Christians for their beliefs (although Christians had themselves killed plenty of non-Christians during the Crusades…).

    [Guyon] wist not whether blot of foule offence/ Might not be purgd with water nor with bath;/ Or that high God, in lieu of innocence,/ Imprinted had that token of his wrath. (II.ii.4)

    Evoking the famous image of Pilate trying to wash the blood of Jesus' death off of his hands, Guyon literally can't wash the blood off poor little Ruddimane's hands. Does Pilate's offense seem similar or different to Ruddimane's?

    More sweet and holesome [the Bowre of Bliss], then… Eden selfe, if ought with Eden mote compaire. (II.xii.52)

    Eden, the Biblical paradise on Earth, was essentially the best place ever. So, by suggesting that the Bower of Bliss, one of the worst places ever, could be better than Eden means that something is very wrong.

    So much her malice did her might surpas,/ That euen th'Almightie selfe [Ate] did maligne,/ Because to man so mercifull he was,/ And vnto all his creatures so benigne (IV.i.30)

    Hint: you know you're evil when you start picking fights with God. Ate, the sower of discord, is thus officially an Evil McEvilson.

    And euer when [Belphoebe] nigh approcht, the Doue/ Would flit a litle forward, and then stay,/ Till she drew neare, and then againe remoue;/ So tempting her still to pursue the pray,/ And still from her escaping soft away. (IV.viii.11)

    Belphoebe and Timias are about to reconcile thanks to this helpful little dove. Incidentally, the dove is also a religious symbol of peace and hope in the Bible.

    By [Concord] the heauen is in his course contained,/ And all the world in state vnmoued stands,/ As their Almightie maker first ordained,/ And bound them with inuiolable bands. (IV.x.35)

    Satyrane describes his almost visionary experience in the Temple of Venus, where Venus is no longer associated solely with love and lovers, but with religious power over the universe and heaven.

    [People] liue, they die, like as [God] doth ordaine,/ Ne euer any asketh reason why/ The hils doe not the lowly dales disdaine;/ The dales doe not the lofty hils enuy./ He maketh Kings to sit in souerainty;/ He maketh subiects to their powre obay. (V.ii.41)

    Debating with the (pretty socialist) Giant with the Scales, Arthegall appeals to God and religious authority as justification for the inequality in the world.

    Well therefore did the antique world inuent,/ That Iustice was a God of soueraine grace… Calling him great Osyris, of the race/ Of th'old Ægyptian Kings, that whylome were;/ With fayned colours shading a true case. (V.vii.2)

    In the Temple of Isis, where Britomart goes to receive a vision of her future, we see a vision of non-Christian, pagan religion, like the religion of ancient Egypt, in which Christian values like justice can be expressed even in non-Christian religious terms.

    From thence into the sacred Church [the Blatant Beast] broke,/ And robd the Chancell, and the deskes downe threw,/ And Altars fouled, and blasphemy spoke,/ And th'Images for all their goodly hew,/ Did cast to ground, whilest none was them to rew. (VI.xii.25)

    This image of the Blatant Beast destroying the objects in a church represents the fear of iconoclasm present during Spenser's time. Iconoclasts, who were extreme Protestants, believed that visual images and objects obscured rather than contributed to genuine religious experience.

  • Politics

    Upon a great adventure [Redcrosse] was bound,/ That greatest Gloriana to him gave… To winne him worship, and her grace to have,/ Which of all earthly thinges he most did crave. (I.i.3)

    Gloriana's power over her subjects isn't only understood in terms of pure, political authority. As we can see with Redcrosse, she's also in his heart and he deeply wants to win her favor. The political and the personal collide!

    Lo yonder is the same,/ In which my Lord [Redcrosse] my liege doth luckelesse ly,/ Thrall to that Gyaunts hatefull tyranny. (I.viii.2)

    When Redcrosse is imprisoned by Orgoglio, Una describes his capture as being subject to Orgoglio's "tyranny." Any ideas why she might use such a clearly political term?

    Who so in pompe of proud estate (quoth [Belphoebe])/ Does swim, and bathes himselfe in courtly blis, Does waste his dayes in darke obscuritee. (II.iii.40)

    Explaining her choice not to participate in the overtly political world of the court, Belphoebe appeals to a common Renaissance idea that the court is full of "pompe" and unnecessary luxury. She prefers the simplicity of the natural world, suggesting that politics and nature do not go hand-in-hand.

    Of all Gods workes, which do this world adorne/ There is no one more faire and excellent,/ Then is mans body both for powre and forme,/ Whiles it is kept in sober gouernment. (II.ix.1)

    Check out our narrator using government metaphors to describe a well-functioning body. We told you politics were everywhere!

    Which that [Queen Elizabeth] may the better deigne to heare,/ Do thou dred infant, Venus dearling doue,/ From her high spirit chase imperious feare,/ And vse of awfull Maiestie remoue;/ In sted thereof with drops of melting loue. (IV.proem.5)

    While love and politics have often been linked in the Faerie Queene, here we see Spenser asking the queen to temporarily replace her political perspective with one of love so that she can truly appreciate his poem… suggesting the politics and love are somehow incompatible.

    Dread Souerayne Goddesse, that doest highest sit/ In seate of iudgement, in th'Almighties stead,/ And with magnificke might and wondrous wit/ Doest to thy people righteous doome aread,/ That furthest Nations filles with awfull dread. (V.proem.11)

    Now addressing the queen as a goddess (though still "sovereign," you'll notice) our narrator praises her political power by making her sound like a deity. Effective? Your call, Shmooper.

    What euer thing is done, by [God] is donne,/ Ne any may his mighty will withstand;/ Ne any may his soueraine power shonne,/ Ne loose that he hath bound with stedfast band. (V.ii.42)

    Returning to this religion-politics connection, our narrator suggests that our experience of political power is always actually a manifestation of divine power. So, does this undercut the real power of the Queen?

    To all which cruell tyranny they say,/ He is prouokt, and stird vp day and night/ By his bad wife, sthat hight Adicia,/ Who counsels him through confidence of might,/ To breake all bonds of law, and rules of right. (V.viii.20)

    Tyranny is the #1 threat in Book 5, the Book of Justice. Based on this unflattering description of the tyranny of the Souldan and his wife, Adicia, why do you think justice and tyranny are always in opposition?

    For th'heauens enuying our prosperitie,/ Haue not vouchsaft to graunt vnto vs twaine/ The gladfull blessing of posteritie,/ Which we might see after our selues remaine/ In th'heritage of our vnhappie paine:/ So that for want of heires it to defend,/ All is in time like to returne againe/ To that foule feend. (VI.iv.31)

    Here, as Matilda bemoans her inability to conceive children with her husband, Bruin, we see that familiar intertwining of the political and personal re-emerge. Children aren't just adorable little cuties; they play a significant role in the security of a political state.

  • Morality and Ethics

    Virtue gives her selfe light, through darkness for to wade. (I.i.13)

    This is one of the first things we hear from Redcrosse. While it sounds like he has a pretty good plan of action, one crucial thing is missing: Redcrosse needs a little help from his friends.

    Ay me, how many perils doe enfold/ The righteous man, to make him daily fall? (I.viii.1)

    This is our narrator lamenting the difficulties that inevitably seem to befall even the best of us. Morality may be important, but it isn't easy.

    Behold the image of mortalitie,/ And feeble nature cloth'd with fleshly tyre,/ When raging passion with fierce tyrannie/ Robs reason of her due regalitie. (II.i.57)

    When Guyon and the Palmer come upon the deeply mournful sight of Amavia dying with her baby and husband next to her, Guyon immediately attributes their suffering to their past moral transgression.

    Said then the Boteman, Palmer stere aright,/ And keepe an euen course; for yonder way/ We needes must passe (God do vs well acquight,)/ That is the Gulfe of Greedinesse… (II.xii.3)

    On their way to the Bower of Bliss, the Palmer, Guyon, and the Boatman must navigate a their boat between moral perils—navigation is a pretty good metaphor for negotiating a course through an unethical universe.

    Ah (said [Britomart] then) now may ye all see plaine,/ That truth is strong, and trew loue most of might,/ That for his trusty seruaunts doth so strongly fight. (III.i.29)

    In the world of the Faerie Queene, Britomart's knightly skillz (which allow her to beat a bunch of other knights) is also a testament to her moral ability: when Britomart wins, truth wins.

    Her name was Ate, mother of debate,/ And all dissention, which doth dayly grow/ Amongst fraile men, that many a publike state/ And many a priuate oft doth ouerthrow. (IV.i19)

    Ate, a goddess of discord, is often at the root of unethical behavior. Friendship and concord tend to go hand in hand in Faerie Land.

    For that which all men then did vertue call,/ Is now cald vice; and that which vice was hight,/ Is now hight vertue, and so vs'd of all:/ Right now is wrong, and wrong that was is right. (V.proem.4)

    We can't say that Spenser has the most optimistic take on present day (16th Century) morality…We can't say that Spenser has the most optimistic take on present day (16th Century) morality…

    Then brought he forth, with griesly grim aspect,/ Abhorred Murder, who with bloudie knife/ Yet dropping fresh in hand did [Duessa] detect,/ And there with guiltie bloudshed charged ryfe. (V.ix.48)

    At the trial of Duessa, actual personifications of her crimes end up on the witness stand. Not the easiest thing to defend yourself against, huh?

    Bloud is no blemish; for it is no blame/ To punish those, that doe deserue the same. (VI.i.26)

    Calidore makes one of the most explicit statements in the poem, suggesting that violence and morality aren't incompatible.

    It is the mynd, that maketh good or ill,/ That maketh wretch or happie, rich or poore:/ For some, that hath abundance at his will,/ Hath not enough, but wants in greatest store. (VI.ix.30)

    What do you make of Meliboe's more relative understanding of moral behavior and happiness?

  • Coming of Age

    Ycladd in mightie armes and silver shielde,/ Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did remain… Yet armes til that time did [Redcrosse] never wield. (I.i.1)

    Even though Redcrosse is wearing armor that has seen a lot of action, he himself hasn't. You might say he has big armor (and shoes) to fill.

    But full of fire and greedy hardiment,/ The youthfull knight could not for ought be staide. (I.i.14)

    About to foolishly waltz into the cave of Error, we see that Redcrosse still has a lot to learn. The narrator doesn't mince his words here: dude is youthful and foolhardy.

    But when strong passion, or weake fleshlinesse/ Would from the right way seeke to draw [Guyon] wide,/ [The Palmer] would through temperance and stedfastnesse,/ Teach him the weake to strengthen, & the stro[n]g suppresse. (II.iv.2)

    The Palmer, Guyon's advisor, acts as one of the most explicit representations of education in the poem; he's got Guyon's back.

    Much wondred Guyon at the faire aspect/ Of that sweet place, yet suffred no delight/ To sincke into his sence, nor mind affect. (II.xii.53)

    We can see Guyon's growth over the course of Book II when he successfully braves the temptations of the Bower of Bliss—temptations particularly enticing to young male knights—without getting sidetracked.

    Faire Sir, I let you weete, that from the howre/ I taken was from nourses tender pap,/ I haue beene trained vp in warlike stowre,/ To tossen speare and shield, and to affrap/ The warlike ryder to his most mishap. (III.ii.6)

    Britomart's childhood and knightly upbringing is a major part of our understanding of her character—and Britomart's education is the most important part of her identity.

    Which [three children: Priamond, Diamond, and Triamond] [Agape] with her long fostred in that wood,/ Till that to ripenesse of mans state they grew:/ Then shewing forth signes of their fathers blood,/ They loued armes, and knighthood did ensew,/ Seeking aduentures, where they anie knew. (IV.ii.46)

    For Agape, the realization that her three sons are showing an inclination toward knighthood is not particularly comforting, since it means a greatly increased chance of doom and death.

    For Artegall in iustice was vpbrought/ Euen from the cradle of his infancie,/ And all the depth of rightfull doome was taught/ By faire Astræa, with great industrie. (V.i.5)

    Arthegall establishes his justice-wielding cred by showing off his justice-filled childhood training. "Justice" is clearly this guy's middle name.

    True is, that I at first was dubbed knight/ By a good knight, the knight of the Redcrosse;/ Who when he gaue me armes, in field to fight/ Gaue me a shield… But for that many did that shield enuie… I layd aside[ my shield], and haue of late forbore. (V.xi.53-54)

    Burbon describes his big mistake, which was abandoning his shield—his shield is emblematic of his education as a knight by Redcrosse, and that's pretty freaking important.

    Him stedfastly [Calidore] markt, and saw to bee/ A goodly youth of amiable grace,/ Yet but a slender slip, that scarse did see/ Yet seuenteene yeares, but tall and faire of face/ That sure he deem'd him borne of noble race. (VI.ii.5)

    Even though Tristram is a "slender slip," Calidore can tell he's got some knightly potential going on, and is totally born of nobility.

    [Claribell] found at last by very certaine signes,/ And speaking markes of passed monuments,/ That this young Mayd, whom chance to her presents/ Is her owne daughter, her owne infant deare./ Tho wondring long at those so straunge euents,/ A thousand times she her embraced nere/ With many a ioyfull kisse, and many a melting teare. (VI.xii.20)

    Pastorella's childhood ends up being a crucial piece in understanding her identity—just because Pastorella wasn't raised as a princess, doesn't mean she isn't princess-material deep down inside.

  • Justice and Judgment

    Halfe furious unto his foe he came,/ Resolved in mind all suddenly to win. (I.i.24)

    In the moments before he finally kills the monster Error, Redcrosse shows that "fury" and "resolve" aren't necessarily incompatible states of being.

    [Redcrosse] was much enmoved with [Despaire's] speach,/ That as swords poynt through his hart did perse,/ And in his conscience made a secrete breach. (I.ix.48)

    What makes Despair such a scary guy is his ability to make really bad advice seem like really good advice. That's why judgment is so important—you need to be able to judge the fact that Despair is a bad dude in order to not listen to him.

    Thus heaping crime on crime, and griefe on griefe,/ To losse of loue adioyning losse of frend,/ I [Phaon] meant to purge both with a third mischiefe,/ And in my woes beginned it to end. (II.iv.31)

    Phaon's lack of judgment in responding to what he thought was the infidelity of his fiancée, led him into a vicious cycle of bad choices producing more bad choices. The result? A whole lot of woe.

    I Pilate am the falsest Iudge, alas,/ And most vniust, that by vnrighteous/ And wicked doome… Delivered vp the Lord of life to die. (II.vii.62)

    Guyon meets the ghost of Pontius Pilate in the underworld with Mammon, and comes face to face with a central symbol of an absence of justice in the Christian tradition.

    But ah, who can deceiue his destiny,/ Or weene by warning to auoyd his fate? (III.iv.27)

    Even though Marinell's mother goes out her way to learn the fate of her child, she still has to make a judgment call and interpret that prophesy. Hint: she doesn't do a great job.

    And said, Sir Knight, sith ye this Lady [False Florimell] clame,/ Whom he that hath, were loth to lose so light… Yee shall her winne, as I haue done in fight:… That who so winnes her, may her haue by right. (IV.iv.9)

    Arguing over possession of the False Florimell, Blandamour proposes a fight as the best form of conflict resolution—not the last time we'll see knights turn to this practice as form of judgment.

    For during Saturnes ancient raigne it's sayd,/ That all the world with goodnesse did abound… Iustice sate high ador'd with solemne feasts/ And to all people did diuide her dred beheasts./ Most sacred vertue she of all the rest. (V.proem.9-10)

    Telling a familiar tale of "everything-was-better-back-in-the-day," our narrator describes a golden age primarily defined by the presence of true justice that is truly respected.

    But if ye please, that I your cause decide,/ Perhaps I may all further quarrell end,/ So ye will sweare my iudgement to abide./ Thereto they both did franckly condescend/ And to his doome with listfull eares did both attend. (V.i.25)

    In one of Arthegall's first interventions in a quarrel between two squires in Book V, Arthegall explicitly offers himself as a judge and a bringer of justice.

    [Mercilla] was about affaires of common wele,/ Dealing of Iustice with indifferent grace,/ And hearing pleas of people meane and base. (V.ix.36)

    In this snapshot of Mercilla's court, right before the harrowing trial of Duessa, we see how a queen has to be the ultimate dispenser of justice, assisting even those from lower classes who are "meane and base." Hey, that's a mean (and base) thing to say.

    Another time, when as the shepherds did dispose/ To practise games… They for their Iudge did Pastorella chose… Then was the oaken crowne by Pastorell/ Giuen to Calidore, as his due right;/ But he, that did in courtesie excel/ Gaue it to Coridon, and said he wonne it well. (VI.ix.43-44)

    This is how judgment goes down in the pastoral world: competition-style. It also pits the pastoral values of crowning the champion against Calidore's more courtly value of being "court"eous.

  • Appearances

    And that new creature borne without her dew,/ Full of the makers guile with usage sly/ [Archimago] taught to imitate that Lady trew [Una],/ Whose semblance she did carrie under feigned hew. (I.i.46).

    In our first example of weird fake people in this poem, Archimago's construction of a false version of Una relies heavily on the study and imitation of her appearance and manners.

    Then when [Arthur, Timias, Una, and Redcrosse] had deployld [Duessa] tire and call,/ Such as she was, their eies might her behold,/ That her misshaped parts did them appall,/ A loathly, wrinckled hag, ill favoured, old,/ Whose secret filth good manners biddeth not be told. (I.viii.46)

    Although Duessa spends most of Book I posing as a beautiful woman, when she's finally captures by Arthur and others he reveals that her appearances is actually very ugly… a manifestation of her inner, moral ugliness.

    …[Guyon] rusht into the thick,/ And soone arrived, where that sad pourtraict/ Of death and dolour lay, halfe dead, halfe quick. (II.i.39)

    When Guyon finds Amavia dying with her baby playing in her own blood, the horror of the scene is described in terms of art: their image is called a "sad portrait."

    Faire Sir (said [Guyon]) if in that picture dead/ Such life ye read, and vertue in vaine shew,/ What mote ye weene, if the trew liuely-head/ Of that most glorious visage ye did vew? (II.ix.3)

    After Arthur comments on the beauty of the image of Gloriana on Guyon's shield, Guyon reminds him that a picture pales in comparison to the appearance of the queen herself.

    The great Magician Merlin had deuiz'd,/ By his deepe science, and hell-dreaded might,/ A looking glasse, right wondrously aguiz'd/ Whose vertues through the wyde world soone were solemniz'd. (III.ii.18)

    The famous magic mirror in which Britomart see her future love, Arthegall, combines the act of looking at oneself—the typical use for a mirror—and looking at one's future. Nifty.

    For round about, the wals yclothed were/ With goodly arras of great maiesty,/ Wouen with gold and silke so close and nere,/ That the rich metall lurked priuily,/ As faining to be hid from enuious eye. (III.xi.28)

    Even before we learn that the tapestries in Busirane's house depict scenes of rape, we know something is wrong because they "lurk" and "fain"—not exactly normal for visual artwork.

    The warlike Mayde beholding earnestly/ The goodly ordinance of this rich place,/ Did greatly wonder, ne could satisfie/ Her greedy eyes with gazing a long space… (III.xi.53)

    As Britomart checks out the house of Busirane, she gets a little bit too obsessed with looking at it and seems unable to feel that she can fully take all of it in.

    At last the most redoubted Britonesse,/ Her louely Amoret did open shew;/ Whose face discouered, plainely did express/ The heauenly pourtraict of bright Angels hew… Till Blandamour, who thought he had the trew/ And very Florimell, did her display:/ The sight of whom once seene did all the rest dismay. (IV.v.13)

    The tournament of Satyrane features a competition between ladies for the title of Most Beautiful. You'll notice the difference between Amoret's beauty being associated with heaven and angels while the False Florimell's beauty is associated with "dismay."

    Of things vnseene how canst thou deeme aright,/ Then answered the righteous Artegall,/ Sith thou misdeem'st so much of things in sight? (V.ii.39)

    Correcting the socialist leanings of the Giant with Scales, Arthegall appeals to a divine natural order that means we can't always know why things are the way they are.

    So stood [Calidore] still long gazing thereupon,/ Ne any will had thence to moue away,/ Although his quest were farre afore him gon;/ But after he had fed, yet did he stay,/ And sate there still, vntill the flying day/ Was farre forth spent… (VI.ix.12)

    Forgetting his quest, and transfixed by the beauty of Pastorella, Calidore's obsessive looking reminds us of Britomart's thousand-yard stare in the house of Busirane.

  • Loyalty

    Long after lay he musing at her mood,/ Much grieved to thinke that Gentle Dame [Una] so light. (I.i.55)

    Victim to Archimago's trickery, Redcrosse believes Una has betrayed him, the first moment of (apparant) disloyalty in the poem—and it cuts deep.

    For wondrous anguish in [Arthur's] hart it wrought,/ To see his loved Squyre into thralldom brought. (I.viii.15)

    Arthur and his squire, Timias, are bros. This is one of many moments in the poem where their loyalty ensures that they help each other out.

    So courteous conge both [Redcrosse and Guyon] did give and take,/ With right hands plighted, pledges of good faith. (II.i.34)

    In a classic moment of vowing eternal friendship, Redcrosse and Guyon must part and go their separate ways… but they maintain the link of loyalty.

    But his good Squire him helping vp with speed,/ With stedfast hand vpon his horse did stay,/ And led [Arthur] to the Castle by the beaten way. (II.xi.48)

    Another instance of Arthur-Timias love, but this time around its Timias who saves Arthur—it works both ways in this whole "loyalty" system.

    Thus reconcilement was betweene [Britomart and Guyon] knit,/ Through goodly temperance, and affection chaste,/ And either vowd with all their power and wit,/ To let not others honour be defaste. (II.i.12)

    Britomart and Guyon did not start things out on the right foot—she knocked him off his horse—but in the land of chivalry, that doesn't mean two good knights can't patch things up and vow eternal friendship.

    The warlike virgine seeing his so prowd/ And boastfull chalenge, wexed inlie wroth… And sayd, her loue [Amoret] to lose she was full loth,/ But either he should neither of them haue, or both. (IV.i.10)

    Britomart shows her loyalty to Amoret by assuming the attitude of a knight defending his right to protect his beloved—there doesn't really seem to be the same language available to Britomart to describe the loyalty between two female friends.

    But euermore, when [Agape] fit time could fynd,/ She warned [her sons] to tend their safeties well,/ And loue each other deare, what euer them befell (IV.ii.53)

    The trio of brothers—Priamond, Dyamond, and Triamond—certainly take their mother's command to be loyal to heart. The first two brothers ultimately lose their lives in order to help out brother #3.

    All ouercome with infinite affect,/ For [Calidore's] exceeding courtesie, that pearst/ [Briana's] stubborne hart with inward deepe effect,/ Before his feet her selfe she did proiect,/ And him adoring as her liues deare Lord,/ With all due thankes, and dutifull respect,/ Her selfe acknowledg'd bound for that accord/ By which he had to her both life and loue restord. (V.i.45)

    Briana, great stealer of people's hair, turns out to be an unlikely example of loyalty to Arthegall, after realizing he did her a solid by ordering Crudor to marry her.

    But I am bound by vow, which I profest/ To my dread Soueraine, when I it assayd,/ That in atchieuement of her high behest,/ I should no creature ioyne vnto mine ayde/ For thy I may not graunt, that ye so greatly prayde. (VI.ii.37)

    Although Calidore would really like Tristram to join him in his quest for the Blatant Beast, his vow to the Faerie Queene stipulated that it was a one-man-task (we're not sure why) and Calidore is super loyal to his Queen… at least in the beginning.

    Tho gan Sir Calidore him to aduize/ Of his first quest, which he had long forlore;/ Asham'd to thinke, how he that enterprize,/ The which the Faery Queene had long afore/ Bequeath'd to him, forslacked had so sore. (VI.xii.12)

    After saving Pastorella and gaining her hand in marriage, Calidore suddenly remembers this whole quest-thing he vowed to the Faerie Queene, and his loyalty to her starts to make him feel mighty guilty about his extra-long detour.