Study Guide

Timias in The Faerie Queene

By Edmund Spenser

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Though we first meet Timias as just the squire to Arthur, he's one of the only sidekick figures who actually gets a narrative of his own. While he spends the first few books primarily coming to Arthur's assistance, he distinguishes himself from his famous master when only he keeps his head in the presence of the beautiful Florimell and chases after not her but her cruel assailant.

His relationship with Belphoebe, a figure for Queen Elizabeth, paints him as a representation of courtly love rituals and their challenges. Believed by many scholars to be a stand-in for Elizabeth's favorite courtier Sir Walter Raleigh, Timias infuriates Belphoebe by rather intimately comforting her wounded sister, Amoret.

Timias embodies the tricky negotiation expected of most courtiers who had to both show loyalty to their particular lady and also show courteousness and politeness to other women as well. His final trial (in which Arthur must intervene to save him) shows that as much as Timias is an independent character in his own right, he still ultimately needs the guidance and assistance of Arthur.

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