Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Book 3, Canto 10

By Edmund Spenser

Book 3, Canto 10

  • As soon as the sun rises, Britomart and Satyrane head out, but Paridell stays behind complaining he's been hurt from battling Britomart the day before.
  • Malbecco is not happy about this, since he hates hosting people, and is always worried about losing his money, his wife, or his life.
  • Even though Malbecco keeps a sharp eye on his wife, Paridell is experienced enough in these things that he finds a way to secretly woo Hellenore and use every trick in the book to get her to run away with him.
  • Eventually, he persuades her to do it and one night she takes some of Malbecco's money and then burns all the rest.
  • Malbecco, horrified to see his money burns run to stop it. Also, as soon as Hellenore gets to Paridell, she begins screaming to her husband that Paridell is carrying her away.
  • Caught between his two loves—money and his wife—Malbecco doesn't know what to do but finally chooses his money over his wife and runs to save it.
  • This gives Paridell and Hellenore an easy way out of the castle.
  • As soon as the fire is contained, Malbecco regrets having let his wife go and is consumed by anger and jealousy.
  • He finally decides to just go look for her himself, and, taking some of his money and burying the rest he goes off searching.
  • He has no luck, but one day comes across two people he thinks might be them, only to realize too late that it's actually Braggadochio and Trompart. Ugh. These guys.
  • Braggadochio thunders at Malbecco, demanding to know why he isn't a knight, and Malbecco responds that he's just a poor pilgrim looking for his wife who was rudely taken from him by a knight.
  • If Braggadochio would intervene and return his wife to him he would be doing him a solid.
  • As a bonus, Malbecco shows him some gold to make him even more interested.
  • Braggadochio at first reacts badly to this, pooh-poohing both Malbecco and his gold.
  • But finally, after some coaxing from Trompart, Braggodochio relents and agrees to help him out, making Malbecco extremely happy.
  • So, the three of them travel together for a while supposedly looking for his wife, but in reality Braggadochio and Trompart are just thinking of a way to get hold of his gold.
  • However, it turns out that they do run across Paridell, who was alone… since he had ditched Hellenore after sleeping with her. What a dirtbag!
  • Apparently, she wandered a long time until meeting some satyrs and she becomes a wife to all of them. Happy ending for Hellenore?
  • Anyway, Malbecco asks Paridell where his wife is and Paridell responds that he doesn't know and that she wandered off into the forest.
  • Paridell then rides off. Rather than chasing after him, Malbecco recommends heading into the forest to find Hellenore.
  • Trompart sneakily reminds Malbecco that the forest is filled with dangers and monsters and so Malbecco buries his treasure and heads fearfully into the forest with them.
  • Pretty much immediately, they all hear some scary noises and run off terrified.
  • Malbecco hides in a bush and from there sees Hellenore dancing with the satyrs, but does nothing about it since he's too afraid.
  • Finally, night falls and Malbecco hides himself amongst the satyrs looking for Hellenore. He sees her with another satyr.
  • He goes up to her, wakes her up, admonishes her for leaving him, and then begs her to return with him.
  • But she refuses and when the sun rises, the satyrs see him and chase him away.
  • Malbecco then returns to where he hid the treasure, only to find it gone (Trompart had taken it). He totally loses it and begins to run aimlessly around until he throws himself off a cliff.
  • Instead of dying from the fall, Malbecco is transformed into a monster with claws and he takes up residence in a dismal cave where he spends his days quite unhappily known now as Jealousy, not as Malbecco.
  • Pretty fitting name, we think.