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Meanwhile the fugitives have carried the news of their arrival to Grantorte, who thereupon has put himself at the head of all his remaining forces, and come forth, with the hope of being able to attack them before they have left the shore; the tyrant and his host, on meeting the two knights, charge them with great fierceness; 'But Talus sternly did upon them set, And brushed and battered them without remorse, That on the ground he left full many a corse' Grantorto, very glad to have an end put to the slaughter of his people before they are every man of them slain, appoints the following morning.

Sir Artegal pitches his tent for the night on the open plain, and is well supplied with all needful accommodations by the exertions of old Sergis among persons whom he knows to be secret friends of Irena, although the tyrant has strictly commanded that none should dare to afford him any entertainment. Upton takes Sergis to be Sir Francis Walsingham, for what reason does not appear: he is more probably some adviser by whom Lord Grey was assisted while he held the government of Ireland.

She rises and attires herself in garments fit for such a day, and is brought forth, with heavy countenance and heavier heart, to receive, as she imagines, the doom that she must die. But, when, on coming to the place, she sees Sir Artegal 'in batailous array waiting his foe,' new life springs up within her He appears at length and marches into the field with haughty and fearless gait; 'All armed in a coat of iron plate Of great defence to ward the deadly fear, And on his head a steel-cap he did wear Of colour rusty-brown, but sure and strong' Grantorto is very evidently the genius of the Irish rebellion of — an allegorical representation of the spirit of Popery as animating the insurgent or native party.

In his View of the State of Ireland Spenser describes the Galloglass, or Irish foot-soldier, as 'armed in a long shirt of mail down to the calf of his leg, with a long broad axe in his hand,' much as Grantorto is pictured here. Although he is also, as we have seen, made to be the seducer of France from Henry of Navarre, it does not seem to be necessary to adopt Upton's notion that we have here again King Philip of Spain, as we certainly have in Geryoneo, and as we probably also have in the Soldan.

He at last manages, however, when the felon has raised his arm for a more than usually ponderous stroke, to plunge his sword into his side, when a torrent of blood gushes out from the wound, and Grantorto brays and yells tremendously. At the same time he catches the intended blow of the battle-axe on his shield, from which the giant then strives in vain to extricate his weapon, dragging about the knight in all directions as he tugs at it; till at last Artegal gives him up his shield, and, flying at his head with his good sword, Chrysaor the poet has forgotten that it was long ago broken to pieces by Queen Radigund , first comes down upon him with a blow that makes all his huge frame stagger, and, then following that up with a rapid succession of others, at last compels him to bite the earth; — 'Whom when he saw prostrated on the plain, He lightly reft his head to ease him of his pain.

The Faerie Queene

After this he proceeds to punish with severity all such as had either openly or secretly taken part with the late tyrant the effect of which was that soon there was not an individual in the country who, so long as this good knight continued in the administration of Irena's affairs, durst once have disobeyed her This is exactly the same account that Spenser gives of the government of his patron Lord Grey in his prose tract on the State of Ireland.

It is known, however, that the severity of the Lord Deputy, which the poet so warmly admires and defends, exposed him after his return to England to great obloquy. This sufficiently explains the remarkable passage that follows. Artegal, we are told, was 'through occasion' called away to Fairy Court before he could thoroughly accomplish his plans of reform so 'that of necessity His course of justice he was forced to stay, And Talus to revoke from the right way, In which he was that realm for to redress' Her name was Envy, knowen well thereby: Whose nature is to grieve and grudge at all' This, it will be observed, is feminine Envy.

The description may be compared with that of Lucifera's male counsellor of the same name in the Fourth Canto of the First Book. The two have now combined against Sir Artegal, and, as his mortal foes, lie in wait to do him what mischief they can, all for having delivered Irena from their snares. Grantorto, too, she asserted, he had treacherously surprised, and foully put to death. These were the very charges brought against Grey for the manner in which he had suppressed the Earl of Desmond's rebellion. And so ends the Canto and the Book" Spenser and his Poetry ; No Faith so firm, no Trust can be so strong, No Love so lasting then, that may enduren long.

Witness may Burbon be, whom all the Bands, Which may a Knight assure, had surely bound, Until the Love of Lordship and of Lands Made him become most faithless and unsound: And witness be Gerioneo found, Who for like cause fair Belge did Oppress, And Right and Wrong most cruelly confound: And so be now Grantorto, who no less Than all the rest burst out to all Outrageousness.

But now time drawing nigh, To him assign'd, her high Beheast to do, To the Sea-shore he 'gan his way apply, To weet, if Shipping ready he mote there descry. Tho when they came to the Sea-coast, they found A ship all ready as good Fortune fell To put to Sea, with whom they did compound To pass them over, where them list to tell: The Wind and Weather served them so well, That in one day they with the Coast did fall; Whereas they ready found, them to repel, Great Hosts of Men in order Martial, Which them forbad to land, and Footing did forstal.

But nathemore would they from Land refrain: But whenas nigh unto the Shore they drew, That Foot of Man might sound the bottom plain, Talus into the Sea did forth issue, Though Darts from Shore, and Stones they at him threw; And wading through the Waves with stedfast Sway, Maugre the Might of all those Troops in view, Did win the Shore, whence he them chas'd away, And made to fly, like Doves, whom th' Eagle doth affray.

The whiles, Sir Arthegal, with that old Knight Did forth descend, there being none them near, And forward marched to a Town in sight. By this, came Tidings to the Tyrant's ear, By those, which earst did fly away for fear Of their Arrival: wherewith troubled sore, He all his Forces streight to him did rear, And forth issuing with his Scouts afore, Meant them to have encountred, e'er they left the Shore.

But e'er he marched far, he with them met, And fiercely charged them with all his Force; But Talus sternly did upon them set, And brush'd and batter'd them without Remorse, That on the Ground he left full many a Corse: Ne any able was him to withstand, But he them overthrew both Man and Horse, That they lay scatter'd over all the Land, As thick as doth the Seed after the Sower's Hand; Till Arthegal him seeing so to rage, Will'd him to stay, and sign of Truce did make: To which all hearkning, did awhile assuage Their Force's Fury, and their Terror slake; Till he an Herauld call'd, and to him spake, Willing him wend unto the Tyrant straight, And tell him that not for such Slaughter's sake He thither came, but for to try the Right Of fair Irena's Cause with him in single Fight.

And willed him for to reclaim with speed His scattered People, e'er they all were slain, And Time and Place convenient to areed, In which, they two the Combat might darrain.

The Faerie Queene - Book 5, Canto 5 Summary & Analysis

Which Message when Grantorto heard, full fain And glad he was the Slaughter so to stay, And pointed for the Combat 'twixt them twain The Morrow next, ne gave him longer Day; So sounded the Retrate, and drew his Folk away. That Night, Sir Arthegal did Cause his Tent There to be pitched on the open Plain; For, he had given streight commandement, That none should dare him once to entertain: Which none durst break, though many would right fain, For fair Irena, whom they loved dear.

But yet old Sergis did so well him pain, That from close Friends, that dar'd nor to appear, He all things did purvay, which for them needful were. Then up she rose, and on her self did dight Most squalid Garments, fit for such a Day; And with dull Count'nance, and with doleful Spright, She forth was brought in sorrowful Dismay, For to receive the Doom of her Decay. But coming to the place, and finding there Sir Arthegal, in battailous Array Waiting his Foe, it did her dead Heart chear, And new life to her lent, in midst of deadly Fear.


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And in his Hand an huge Polaxe did bear, Whose Steel was Iron studded, but not long, With which he wont to fight, to justify his Wrong. Of Stature huge, and hideous he was, Like to a Giant for his monstrous Height, And did in Strength most sorts of Men surpass, Ne ever any found his match in Might; Thereto he had great Skill in single Fight: His Face was ugly, and his countenance stern, That could have fray'd one with the very Sight, And gaped like a Gulf, when he did gern, That whether Man or Monster one could scarce discern.

Turpine is confused about his own situation but offers the best explanation he can.

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A brave Amazon woman, Radigund, has been challenging all the Knights of Maidenhood. She despises men since her own love Bellodant doesn't love her back. Any knights Radigund captures are forced to wear dresses and do household chores. If they protest she hangs them. Artegall vows to conquer Radigund. He takes Turpine with him. They arrive at Radegone, the Amazon city where Radigund rules. The watchmen tell Radigund of their arrival, and she prepares an army of women to meet and fight them.

They battle until evening when Radigund calls off the fight. The next day Radigund decides she'd rather not lose any more troops in battle. She challenges Artegall to a one-on-one joust. If she wins, he has to obey her law and serve her. If he wins, she'll obey and serve him. Artegall agrees to these terms. They schedule the battle for the following day. Wearing a magnificent outfit, Radigund heads to the battlefield to challenge Artegall. At first Artegall has the upper hand. But he's distracted when he sees Radigund's face, throwing his sword down so he doesn't harm her. This gives Radigund an advantage.

She overcomes Artegall, and he surrenders. The Amazon women hang Turpine but let Talus escape. Artegall goes into Radigund's service as he agreed. He puts on women's clothing and enters a chamber full of other knights working at spinning wheels. As Artegall works Radigund begins to fall in love with him.

She confesses her love to her handmaid Clarinda.

Fearing she's treated Artegall unfairly, Radigund asks Clarinda to convince Artegall of her good intentions. When Clarinda seems sympathetic to his plight, Artegall is skeptical. He tells her he wants to honor Radigund's authority.

The Faerie Queene, Book 5

But he'll take any favor Radigund wants to offer. As she returns to Radigund Clarinda realizes she's falling for Artegall herself. Clarinda devises a plan. She tells Radigund Artegall would rather die a servant than be her lover. Radigund decides to wear him down by reducing his food rations and giving him more work.

The Faerie Queene, Book 5 Canto 1

Clarinda then tells Artegall Radigund will never free him. But Clarinda offers to defy her mistress and free him herself. Artegall, not knowing of the deception, is grateful to Clarinda.


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  8. The poet rebukes readers who find Artegall weak. He maintains Artegall kept his strong character even in imprisonment. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details.

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    Book 5, Canto 5 Summary

    Apr 27, Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: early-modern. This book contains one of my all-time favorite moments in FQ. Artegall has given himself up for prisoner to the Amazon queen, who has stripped him of his armor, dressed him in women's garb, and given him a distaff to work on. Britomart arrives on the scene to rescue him, sees him in the women's garb, and you can just see her face as she is horrified by his appearance, averts her eyes, and essentially says "oh, my God.