By Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, Patrick Cheney, Michael Schoenfeldt (eds.)
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Additional resources for Imagining Death in Spenser and Milton
Britomart will follow suit because her union is in the future, hence the importance of the word, ‘yet’. In the house of Busyrane the pains and sufferings of Petrarchan lovers are made literal and real in the Masque of Cupid, showing that love is a cruel form of war. 19–21), a sacriﬁce Busyrane clearly intends to repeat before he is prevented by Britomart (31–3), makes literal one of the key puns in English Renaissance literature. 19 The Faerie Queene is a lament for the queen’s failure to die. The poem is thus haunted by an imminent death that has not happened.
Is this the way / I must return to native dust? ’ Adam, that Introduction 19 is, wonders if the epistemological uncertainty of his punishment has ﬁnally achieved visual resolution. 465–8). Michael’s desire to exhibit for Adam the multiple ways in which death will exercise his cruel power over humanity issues in the nightmarish vision of the lazar-house, ﬁlled with ‘a monstrous crew’ suffering ‘Diseases dire’, which attempts to represent death in all its horrible incarnations: Immediately a place Before his eyes appeard, sad, noisome, dark, A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid Numbers of all diseas’d, all maladies Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualms Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds, Convulsions, Epilepsies, ﬁerce Catarrhs, Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs, Daemoniac Phrenzie, moaping Melancholie And Moon-struck madness, pining Atrophie, Marasmus, and wide-wasting Pestilence, Dropsies, and Asthma’s, and Joint-racking Rheums.
Mary will prove stronger after her death than Elizabeth will because she has produced life in the form of her son. 41 The narrative of The Faerie Queene is framed by two deaths, neither of which actually appears in the poem, but which no one writing in Britain in the 1590s could ignore.