â€œDivided into double partsâ€ Race, gender, and the double in books 1â€“3 of Spenser's â€œThe Faerie Queeneâ€.
Date of Graduation
In the first canto of Book 1 of Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Archimago divides Redcrosse and Una "into double parts," creating the impression that they are not just divided from each other, but divided from themselves. While this is the first time the phrase "divided into double parts" is mentioned, the theme of division and doubling has already appeared in the text. Indeed, this kind of thematic echo, or doubling, is characteristic of Spenser's work. My dissertation argues that only when we are seeing double, do we recognize the unity in The Faerie Queene . The concept of decomposition allows for a symbolic reading of the FQ that focuses on the emblematic nature of the figures and traces their connections to one another. Without understanding the nature of doubling, we may enjoy the pleasures of the text's acting out of ambivalent desires, but we remain ignorant of our own assumptions and prejudices. The Faerie Queene is populated with projected fragments of a psyche rife with prejudices, desires, and needs that play out their ambivalences in martial fashion. My critical approaches tend to divide the text double many times over, separating masculine and feminine, West and East. But rather than act merely as a second Archimago, my final chapter attempts to bring a new kind of unity to The Faerie Queene by translating the text, along with many others, into new media. I propose to create Faeriewiki, which will marry theory and practice to provide a useful, open tool for understanding and teaching The Faerie Queene. The openness and ease of use makes a wiki an embodiment of the ideals of feminism and postcolonial criticism, creating a multivocal community that actively engages with Spenser.
Holmberg, Rachel N., "â€œDivided into double partsâ€ Race, gender, and the double in books 1â€“3 of Spenser's â€œThe Faerie Queeneâ€." (2008). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9052.