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Marinell: A Knight Scared of Virgins

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Marinell is a minor character in book 3 of The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser. He is a knight associated with the sea, and violently attacks anyone who comes near his territory.

There is a prophecy associated with Marinell, that he will eventually meet his downfall due to a virgin. For this reason, he chooses to avoid all female contact.

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However, he is eventually defeated by Britomart. Since she is all dressed up in armor, Marinell does not recognize her as a woman, thus choosing to engage her in battle and find defeat.

He eventually becomes the husband of Florimell, who was in love with him from the beginning.

In fact, this sudden switch from being a sworn bachelor to the devoted husband of Florimell is almost a mystery. Perhaps it is a lesson that love conquers all.

This also demonstrates that there were two versions that defeated Marinell in two different ways: Britomart defeated him physically, and Florimell defeated him in love.

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

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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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