Abstract

abstract:

In Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, the Blatant Beast, a slanderous monster who defames aristocratic characters, both threatens and helps generate the poem. His attacks unsettle the hierarchies and reputations essential to romance and its quest to fashion heroes, but the Beast's untrustworthy language and interruptive appearances also align him with the wandering typical of the genre. This tension reveals the text's ambivalence toward the possibility of fashioning a gentleman, a claim that Spenser explicitly makes for his verses. The Faerie Queene's later books seem especially aware that something monstrous in fallen language itself disrupts this poetic project, a disruption that the Blatant Beast embodies.

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