Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Book 4, Canto 4

By Edmund Spenser

Book 4, Canto 4

  • Our narrator observes how quickly enemies can become friends and friends can become enemies.
  • Since we've just heard about the quarrel and friendship between Triamond and Cambell, it's time to turn to Scudamore and Paridell, who, if you remember, we left having just run into Triamond, Cambell, Canacee and Cambina on the road.
  • After finding out who they are, Blandamour tries to stir up trouble by insulting Triamond and Cambell.
  • But Cambina quickly steps in and keeps the peace and everyone talks about the big tournament coming up for Florimell's girdle which will crown the greatest knight and the most beautiful lady.
  • They all decide to go and, on the way, Paridell spots Braggadochio heading toward them.
  • When he sees the False Florimell, who was taken from him by Ferraugh and now travels with Blandamour, he claims that she belongs to him.
  • Blandamour replies that he'll fight Braggadochio for her, and whoever loses is stuck with Ate.
  • Braggadochio, never actually keen for a fight, starts making excuses and everyone makes fun of him and calls him a coward.
  • But Cambell steps in and chastises them for stirring up trouble, reminding them that they need to save their energy for the tournament.
  • Everyone agrees, and soon they arrive and are amazed at all the brave knights and beautiful ladies who are gathered there.
  • Soon Satyrane appears, carrying the girdle of Florimell, which he hangs up for all to see. Then he begins to fight against a knight called Bruncheual.
  • They fight fiercely, and soon a knight called Ferramont joins to help Satyrane. Blandamour jumps in against him.
  • Next Paridell joins too, but Braggadochio, unsurprisingly, does not.
  • Instead, Triamond rides into the fight and badly injures Ferramont.
  • Three knights, Sir Devon, Sir Douglas, and Sir Palimord all try to bring down Triamond but are all unsuccessful.
  • Quickly after, however, Satyrane awakens from his faint and seeing his side beaten, he jumps up and viciously stabs Triamond in the side. He quietly leaves the battlefield, wounded.
  • By that time, it's getting late, so the fighting is postponed until the morning with everyone agreeing that Satyrane has taken the day.
  • The next morning, Satyrane comes out again to fight and while Triamond is unable to oppose him, Cambell takes his place.
  • The two fight fiercely, and when Satyrane falls off of his horse, Cambell seizes the opportunity to attack him.
  • But before he has a chance, he is suddenly surrounded by a great number of soldiers fighting for Satyrane who begin to attack him when he is massively outnumbered. Not cool.
  • When Triamond gets word of this, he jumps up, forgetting his injury, and runs to help his friend.
  • With great bravery he is able to knock down all the other knights and save Cambell.
  • Night then falls, temporarily ending the fighting, and everyone agrees the day belongs to Cambell and Triamond, but Cambell says it really belongs just to Triamond. Cute!
  • The final day of the tournament comes, and everyone appreciates what a formidable knight Satyrane is.
  • But suddenly, a strange knight covered in leaves and weeds appears and strikes down Sir Sangliere and Sir Brianor, and seven other knights.
  • Everyone wonders who this knight might be, and it turns out that it's Arthegall, the knight who Britomart loves but who we haven't met until just now.
  • No one there knows his name, however, so he's simply called the Salvage Knight.
  • Arthegall proceeds to soundly defeat Satyrane and his men and he's just about to bask in the glory of his victory when another strange knight appears and knocks him completely over.
  • Shocked by this, both Cambell and Triamond charge this strange knight too, but also get themselves knocked over.
  • Who is this strange and powerful knight? None other than Britomart, whose powerful spear and fighting skills win the Tournament.