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Amavia: A Tragic Loss in The Faerie Queene

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Amavia is a character that shows up briefly in book 2 of The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser.

Her story is among the most tragic of the entire six book series. When we first encounter her, we learned that her husband has died, and she has recently attempted suicide.

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She is discovered by Sir Guyon and the Palmer, and she explains her story to them about how Acrasia had seduced her husband then killed him, leaving her and her baby alone.

Amavia and her husband, Mordant, represent a grey area of The Faerie Queene poem. Because while their story is tragic, there is also some guilt associated with Sir Mordant for betraying his wife.

Likewise, Acrasia’s poisoning of Mordant may be an analogy for sexually transmitted diseases that were not well understood in Edmund Spenser’s time.

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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