Lucifera as Both a Foil and Parallel to Queen Elizabeth I in Edmund Spenser’s Book 1 of the Faerie Queene

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Lucifera As Both a Foil and Parallel To Queen Elizabeth I in Edmund Spenser’s Book 1 of The Faerie Queene Lucifera in Edmund Spenser’s Book 1 of “The Faerie Queene” serves as both a foil and parallel to Queen Elizabeth I, thus highlighting her effective rule as well as limitations of her monarchy. To a large extent, the poem aims to celebrate and glorify her positive attributes, such as justice, benevolence and, sensitive to that time period, her Protestant beliefs. Lucifera is portrayed as an evil queen with a resonating tone of falseness and inadequacy. According to Hande Seber in her article ‘Evil Queens in the Faerie Queene’, “the abuse of authority and power, pride, arrogance and cruelty are the common vices shared by them and other than reason, they employ their femininity to obtain what they desire”. This technique of character foiling and parallelism, manifested in the outright polarity of their character attributes, not only adds richness but brings about greater understanding in the reader who is now able to distinguish the characters better. Therefore, Spenser’s conflicting attitudes toward the institution of monarchy is showcased through this poem. It is hence evident that for the most part, he admires Elizabethan rule, but acknowledges his disdain for the few limitations that her rule posed to the country at that time as well. Lucifera is an allegory of pride and betrayal, and this is effectively communicated to the reader through Spenser’s description of the “stately Pallace” (1.4.1) in which she resides and reigns supreme. The sense of betrayal resonates even in the architecture of this palace, where there is a strong conflict between appearance and reality, as seen by the ‘golden foile’ (1.4.4) that represents the lofty and extravagant façade. This is contrasted with the walls that was ‘cunningly’ (1.4.2) laid down with ‘nothing strong,

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