Knights, dragons, princesses—sounds like a fun romance, right? But in Edmund Spenser’s epic English poem The Faerie Queen, there’s a lot more to romance than in the typical love story. Today on Home School Heartbeat, Dr. Gene Edward Veith discusses the way the meaning of love changed in the early Reformation.
Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood
What does it mean to be called as a husband, a wife, a parent, a child? How does the grace of the gospel impact how we carry out our particular calling? How does God’s presence influence the struggles that families face? Dr. Veith explores these and other questions in his most recent book. Learn more or order today.
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Dr. Veith, not a lot of people read Edmund Spenser’s story, The Faerie Queen, anymore. A lot of medieval stories involve knights and ladies and romance. What makes Spenser's ideals of love so special?
Dr. Gene Veith:
Well, in the Middle Ages, romantic love kind of happened apart from marriage. What Spenser did, he was a Protestant influenced by the Reformation, what he did in his poetry was to bring romantic love into marriage. He wrote a series of love poems called amoretti, and they culminated in this wonderful Christian poem about marriage called Epithalamion. Then in his book, The Faerie Queen, he again shows a typical medieval romance, but it too leads to marriage, and it does so, showing the couple facing real problems. Lots of misunderstandings, lots of problems, lots of obstacles, lots of unfaithfulness, and yet, Spenser in this great Christian allegory shows that when the lady helps bring him to faith we see their problems resolved, and is looking forward then to their marriage.
Dr. Veith, thanks so much for sharing that with us. We can learn some great lessons from these old books! Till next time, I’m Mike Smith.
Explore aspects of love with a literature unit study based on the books Dr. Veith discusses on this week’s program. Follow the link to request your free copy of the Aspects of Love Literature Unit Study.
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