Study Guide

Satyrane in The Faerie Queene

By Edmund Spenser

Satyrane

Half-knight, half-satyr, Satyrane lives halfway between the wildness of nature and the civilizing influence of knighthood. Thanks to the calming presence of Una in Book 1, Satyrane develops from being simply a wild and unruly knight of the forest to a chivalrous and courteous champion of ladies.

Because Satyrane retains this wild streak, he embodies a positive vision of what remaining connected to nature can allow. His wildness makes him a better knight, not, like so many evil characters, prone to lust, anger, or jealousy. This is made particularly clear by the fact that Satyrane is not romantically connected to any lady, but instead simply helps both Una and Florimell.

When he holds the tournament for Florimell's girdle in Book 4, he again shows off his non-romantic status by giving up his claim to the False Florimell and allowing her to choose her male companion herself, something far too rare in this poem.

So while satyrs have a pretty bad rep when it comes to womanizing and sleazy living, Satyrane is actually the opposite of these things. Gold star, Satyrane.