in Comic Spenser
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

The introduction surveys historical patterns of interest in, and resistance to, the humour of The Faerie Queene. It introduces comic theory via its traditional schools (‘superiority’, ‘incongruity’, ‘relief’) and by exploring three largely interdependent principles that have been linked to humour since antiquity: ‘reduction’, ‘ambiguity’, and ‘play’. The second half of the introduction characterises Spenserian humour in relation to these latter principles. It draws a connection between The Faerie Queene’s insistent bathos and the Christian – and especially Protestant – understanding that humans cannot be heroes. The central role of Spenser’s humble and unreliable narrator is emphasised.

Comic Spenser

Faith, folly, and ‘The Faerie Queene’


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 13 13 2
Full Text Views 1 1 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0