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Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage
Volume 118, Program 48
2/12/2013
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Knights, dragons, princesses—sounds like a fun romance, doesn’t it? But in Edmund Spenser’s epic English poem The Faerie Queene, there’s a lot more to romance than in a typical love story. Today on Home School Heartbeat, Dr. Gene Edward Veith discusses the way the meaning of love changed in the early Reformation.

Mike Smith:
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, and he was a Protestant influenced by the Reformation, and what he did in his poetry was to bring romantic love into marriage. And he wrote a series of love poems called amoretti,and they culminated in this wonderful Christian poem about marriage called Epithalamion. And 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.   

Mike:
Dr. Veith, thanks so much for sharing that with us. We can learn some great lessons from these old books! And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.


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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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