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Abessa: The Embodiment of Blind Faith

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Abessa is a character that shows up in Edmund Spenser‘s The Faerie Queene. She is blind, deaf, and mute.

The Story of Abessa

Abessa runs into Una during the first book of The Faerie Queene, and runs away screaming in terror at the sight of her and her lion.

Abessa as part of a dysfunctional family complete with Corceca, her mother, and Kirkrapine, a thief who is her mother’s boyfriend.

During the course of the story, Kirkrapine tries to assault Una, but you know eventually gets away unscathed.

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Who Does Abessa Represent?

In the Faerie Queene, a highly allegorical story, Abessa represented the Catholic point of view, which at the time was considered blind and empty, hence Abessa’s conditions and obsessions with rituals.

Abessa’s name means “deficiency”, making the allegorical comparison clear. Una, who represents the true church, or the Protestant church, manages to escape this dysfunctional family, showing her strength and superiority (symbolically speaking) to the Catholic Church.

Abessa first appeared in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

See our complete list of Arthurian characters for more entries like this one.

Arthurian Bibliography

See also my ever-expanding list of primary and secondary sources.

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Jason is a Mythic Fantasy Author and creator of MythBank. He loves mythology, history, and geek culture. When he's not writing, his favorite hobbies include hiking, chilling with his wife, spouting nonsense words at his baby daughter, and developing this (and other) websites.

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