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Remembering the Death of Turnus: Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and the Ending of the Aeneid
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Renaissance quarterly, ISSN 0034-4338, E-ISSN 1935-0236, Vol. 64, no 2, 430-471 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most of the key episodes in book 1 of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene (1590) replay famous passages in Virgil’s Aeneid. However, the concluding canto, describing the Redcrosse knight’s betrothal to Una, is based on Maffeo Vegio’s fifteenth-century Supplementum to the Aeneid, while, surprisingly, the Aeneid’s much-disputed ending appears in triplicate in early sections of book 1. This article examines the place and function of book 1’s three imitations of the Aeneid’s ending, while also relating them to Spenser’s appropriations of the ending in later books of The Faerie Queene. It argues that, in making Redcrosse assume the position of Aeneas in largely negative contexts, book 1 opposes standard sixteenth-century interpretations of Aeneas’s pietas, whereas later books of The Faerie Queene usually conform to prevalent early modern interpretations of the moral import of this powerful cultural memory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chicago: University of Chicago Press , 2011. Vol. 64, no 2, 430-471 p.
National Category
Humanities General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65590DOI: 10.1086/661796ISI: 000292679400002OAI: diva2:397100
Available from: 2011-02-11 Created: 2011-02-11 Last updated: 2014-10-22

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Svensson, Lars-Håkan
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Department of Culture and CommunicationFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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