Kathryn Walls
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Una redeemed
in God’s only daughter
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At an unspecified point during the night before she leaves Archimago’s house in canto ii, Una changes. Spenser’s reticence on the question of how the change took place intimates that it was the product of election, described by Calvin as God’s “secret adoption.” As Calvin notes, God chooses his children not “in themselues” but “in his Christ,” and it is in accordance with Calvin’s doctrine that Spenser goes on to incorporate his allegory of the Incarnation in canto iii. In using the lion to represent Christ, Spenser follows Biblical and medieval traditions. The meaning of the lion’s appearance is conveyed in part by the intense emotion with which the scene is suffused.

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God’s only daughter

Spenser’s Una as the invisible Church


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