Study Guide

Scudamore in The Faerie Queene

By Edmund Spenser

Scudamore

If anyone can attest to the frustrations of love in the Faerie Queene, it's got be Scudamore, the tormented, and not-so-likeable, lover of Amoret. We first meet Scudamore failing to save Amoret from the horrible torture of the magician Busirane: instead being able to actively assist her, he is consumed by his own guilt. Sadly, Scudamore's failure to help is a consistent problem for him, and he is often depicted in the poem as very much his own worst enemy.

Instead of letting his passion for Amoret turn him into a better person, as love does for many characters in the Faerie Queene, it turns him into someone violent, rash, and helpless. Not a great combo. Scudamore's failures as a lover might have something to do with how he and Amoret met. Spoiler: it's not Romeo and Juliet. Scudamore essentially storms into the temple of Venus and takes her away without her consent. Not a stellar way to begin a relationship. The non-courtship of their initial encounter seems to play itself out in the endless obstacles their relationship faces.

Because Spenser wrote two different versions to the end of Book 3, the climactic moment in Scudamore and Amoret's relationship—written presumably before he had planned out the rest of the poem—we have to mention that Scudamore and Amoret's obstacle-filled romance does have a different fate in the 1590 version of Book 3.

In this version, it's much more happily-ever-after: Amoret is released from the house of Busirane and throws herself into the arms of her lover Scudamore so tightly that the two almost become one person. Although their relationship was never destined to be problem-free, it shows that in one incarnation of the poem, Spenser had a more peaceful image of Scudamore and his romance.