Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Summary

Epithalamion is a poem celebrating a marriage. An epithalamium is a song or poem written specifically for a bride on her way to the marital chamber. In Spenser's work he is spending the day-24 hours- anxiously awaiting to marry Elizabeth Boyle. The poem describes the day in detail. The couple wakes up, and Spenser begs the muses to help him on his artistic endeavor for the day. He asks the nymphs to wake his sleeping love so the day can begin. Spenser spends a majority of the poem praising his bride to be. Which is depicted as both innocent and lustful.

When she finally wakes, the two head to the church. Hymen Hymenaeus is sung by the minstrels at the festivities. As the ceremony begins, Spenser shifts from praising Greek Gods and beings to Christian language to praise Elizabeth. After the ceremony, Spenser becomes even more anxious at the thought of consummating the marriage. Spenser then rebukes any idea of evil that could ruin their new found happiness. Spenser asks for blessings for childbearing, fidelity and all things good at the end.

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