Study Guide

The Faerie Queene Book 5, Proem

By Edmund Spenser

Book 5, Proem

  • This book is called "The Fifth Booke of the Faerie Queene, contayning The Legend of Artegall, or Of Justice." This is the second-to-last book, everybody: the finish line is approaching.
  • Our narrator laments how bad the present time is compared to the past.
  • Back in the day there was a golden age, but now, it's an age of stone.
  • So, don't blame him if he writes a poem in an old style since old is better.
  • Everything is topsy-turvy now, what was bad is now considered good, and vice-versa—even the stars and constellations are out of order.
  • But long ago, people really valued what mattered, like justice for instance, which is one of the most importance virtues around, especially for good leaders.
  • So, with justice in mind, our narrator begins the story of Artegall.
  • We have the sneaking suspicion that Spencer fondly remembers when you could get a can of Coke for twenty-five cents, and when music just sounded better.