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The Faerie Queene, Book Two (The Faerie Queene Books #2)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
From its opening scenes--in which the hero refrains from fighting a duel, then discovers that his horse has been stolen--Book Two of The Faerie Queene redefines the nature of heroism and of chivalry. Its hero is Sir Guyon, the knight of Temperance, whose challenges frequently take the form of temptations. Accompanied by a holy Palmer in place of a squire, Guyon struggles t ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 15th 2006 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published 1919)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jacob Aitken
Here is the allegory of Temperance. It follows the standard medieval warrior pilgrimage. Sumpter has done a fine job of modernizing the spelling while retaining the exalted style. However, there are a few flaws with Sumpter's approach (I am not criticizing his work. It is literally one of a kind and preciously needed). Sumpter ignores (or doesn't notice) Spenser's Neo-Platonism. Without understanding Spenser's commitment to Neo-Platonism, parts of the story are incoherent. Here are some themes ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Alik rated it really liked it
Brilliant stuff, really.

Here's what the triumph of Temperaunce over hedonism looks like:

But all those pleasant bowres and Pallace braue,
Guyon broke downe, with rigour pittilesse;
Ne ought their goodly workmanship might saue
Them from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse,
But that their blisse he turn'd to balefulnesse:
Their groues he feld, their gardins did deface,
Their arbers spoyle, their Cabinets suppresse,
Their banket houses burne, their buildings race,
And of the fairest late, now made the f
Oct 09, 2016 Danny rated it it was ok
Book Two, or the Legend of Sir Guyon, is dedicated to exploring the virtue of temperance. After the myriad deceptions of Book one, Spenser's characters seem to have learned how to distinguish between truth and untruth, between Archimagian forgery and the Real Thing (as embodied by Una), so that the didactic logic of the second book operates in the service of a new end. Now that Spenser's equipped his readers with the skills to discriminate between false images and true ones (between Duessas from ...more
Audrey Greathouse
Sep 12, 2016 Audrey Greathouse rated it really liked it
The Fairie Queen is always a pleasure, albeit an acquired taste. I definitely understood the second book better than the first, but I don't think it was quite as good as the first.

I'd just finished reading the poetic exploration of lovers and the way their sexual desires inevitably blossom beyond their relationship in Milan Kundera's Identity, and I just couldn't get behind an antagonist whose great evil is that of seduction and free love. Admittedly, Acrasia also turned her lovers into animals,
Perry Whitford
Jan 29, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
- Archimago frees himself after Redcrosse departs:
'And forth he fares full of malicious mind,
To worken mischiefe and auenging woe ...
He chaungd his minde from one to other ill:
For to all good he enimy was still.'
(Canto I, Verses 2&5)

- Amavia stabs herself for grief, her baby nestling on her lap:
'And the cleane waues with purple gore did ray;
Als in her lap a louely babe did play
His cruell sport, in stead of sorrow dew;
For in her streaming blood he did embay
His litle hands, and tender io
Jun 28, 2012 Jesse rated it it was amazing
Who knew Temperance could be so exciting? Holiness, from Book I, comes back to joust with Temperance! But Temperance is too temperate, and they call off their "affrap". It must be noted that Spenser's language is very strange, even moreso than Shakespeare's, causing Jonson and Sidney to pooh-pooh him mightily - yet, it must be admitted that it is perfect for the misty imaginative subject of the poem, where every particular has become a universal object, and no one is as they seem (indeed, there ...more
Marjorie Jensen
Guyon (Temperance) and his Palmer (who tells Guyon what temperance is) are often boring, but the House of Temperance and Prince Arthur are stunning and many of the temptations are beautiful. I love Spenser's interjections--he invokes and praises Queen Elizabeth ("To decke my song withall, I would assay / Thy name, O Soveraine Queene, to blazon farre away") and seems to admit Guyon is a bit dull ("here I a while must stay / to see a cruell fight doen by the Prince this day" he says before ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
In many ways this book is vastly different than Book One yet it is still very good. I found this one easier to read than the first book, but it's truly enjoyable if you understand the context of England at the time - religiously, and also what Spenser is trying to do for the English novel and literary art form. Whereas Book 1 focuses on the grandness of a Knight and becoming a powerful Man of God, Book 2 is all about the power one should have over their own bodies and urges - all in all a very ...more
John Redmon
Oct 07, 2015 John Redmon rated it it was amazing
"The good Sir Guyon gratiously to heare, / In whom great rule of Temp'raunce goodly doth appeare."

Yes, good ol' Sir Guyon, the knight of Temperance. Yeah, you know, Temperance; that helpful virtue nobody thinks about anymore. #chivalryISdead

"God guide thee, Guyon, well to end thy warke, / And to the wished hauen bring thy weary barke."

Footnotes are well done in this book. Non-obtrusive and without too much allegorical referencing (unlike Book I).
Steven Shinder
Jun 26, 2013 Steven Shinder rated it it was amazing
Like the book before it, this book is about resisting temptation. This time, the protagonist is not the Redcrosse Knight, but rather a knight by the name of Guyon. There is also a prince by the familiar name of Arthur. Like its predecessor, this book must be read carefully so that climactic events such as the battle at sea are not missed. Another story worth reading.
Dec 05, 2013 Karine rated it it was ok
Shelves: university-books
Lord save me from this book. I had to read it for a class and if it wasn't compulsory I would have stopped reading way before the end. The book and story itself has some merit, and I can understand why it was chosen for the class, but man I just did not enjoy this book at all.
I can't be objective when it comes to Spenser. I adore the Faerie Queene. My love for this book is unequivocal and all-consuming. You'll have to rely on someone else for a more fair-minded evaluation!
Feb 20, 2008 Anne-Marie rated it it was amazing
I find this a perplexing book; I feel like I'd need to read it a few more times to really get it. Again, the edition is fantastic, with stellar notes and a helpful introduction. And the book fits easily into a purse.
May 24, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing
While not as good as Book One, Book Two still is full of lovely, vivid imagery like only Spenser can versify!
Oct 01, 2013 Anna rated it really liked it
It takes awhile to get used to the way Spenser writes, but once you find your groove it's a really enjoyable read.
May 17, 2011 Kylee rated it really liked it
I ended up reading it for class, and it's kind of hard and wordy and weird, but I somehow ended up obsessed with it. What gives?
Nicole Best
Nicole Best rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2016
Amanda rated it liked it
Nov 19, 2014
Hilary rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2012
Kate Bradley
Kate Bradley rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2013
Ellen rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2009
Steve Morrison
Steve Morrison rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2009
Liz rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2013
John rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2015
Jun 07, 2011 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2011
Wonderful stuff. Who will do the next books in this edition?
Templehurst rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2010
Emlinian rated it did not like it
May 11, 2016
Fleur rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2010
Padmini Sukumaran
Padmini Sukumaran rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2014
Justin Young
Justin Young rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2010
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Edmund Spenser (c. 1552 – 13 January 1599) was an important English poet and Poet Laureate best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem celebrating, through fantastical allegory, the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I.

Though he is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, Spenser is also a controversial figure due to his zeal for the destruction of Irish cultu
More about Edmund Spenser...

Other Books in the Series

The Faerie Queene Books (5 books)
  • The Faerie Queene, Book One
  • Faerie Queene: The Mutability Cantos and Selections from the Minor Poems, Bks. 1 and 2
  • The Faerie Queene, Book Five
  • The Faerie Queene, Book Six and the Mutabilitie Cantos

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“Yet gold all is not, that doth gold seem,
Nor all good knights, that shake well spear and shield:
The worth of all men by their end esteem,
And then praise, or due reproach them yield.”
“Woe never wants, where every cause is caught, and rash Occasion makes unquiet life.” 2 likes
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