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Alma in The Faerie Queene

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The name, Alma, means “soul”, and this is a fair representation of her role in book 2 of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen.

She is what gives life and meaning to our heroes, just as the soul gives life to the body.

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Her Role in The Faerie Queene

Alma lives in a castle that rightly mimics the human body, and even has servants that represent different bodily functions. For example, many of the servants in the kitchen have names related to food, such as Diet and Concoction.

In book 2 of The Faerie Queen, Alma helps Guyon and Arthur rest from their trials, and invigorates them by taking them to see the three counselors that are also in her castle.

These counselors represent the future, the present, and the past.

Visiting the Counselors

When they visit the counselor of the past, Arthur and Guyon are each invited to read books that are particularly relevant to them.

Arthur reads a book about the History of the Kings of Britain (based heavily on the actual text of this name by Geoffrey of Monmouth), while Guyon reads a book about the history of fairyland, of which we learn very little.

Alma’s castle is besieged by bandits, led by a man named Maleger, and it is only with Arthur’s help that they are able to vanquish them.

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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