About the author: Dennis Quinn is an Assistant Professor of Languages and Literature at Worcester State College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He earned his PhD at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Quinn is the author of a book of poems, Mythological Moments, a number of articles on Shakespeare and the Renaissance, and most recently has gathered together material for publication a collection of short fiction.2000 0-7734-7720-9
This study subjects Spenser’s The Faerie Queene to an archetypal mode of analysis to extract a coherent meaning from the text. The approach invokes a motif-driven, patterned analysis of the text, establishing the monomythic model of Joseph Campbell as a context for evaluating the heroic dimensions of the questing knights Redcrosse, Guyon, Britomart, and Calidore. The methodology further proposes to liberate Spenser from allegory. The study promotes the quest paradigm as a valid measure of characterization capable of generating interpretation across a wide spectrum of texts. Finally, the study suggests that Spenser – himself subjected to analysis following the model – abandons his ambitious self-appointed quest to complete The Faerie Queene in favor of a modestly successful completion of a surrogate quest to achieve personal and literary renown, a quest embodied in the Amoretti. With illustrations.