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The Squire of Dames in The Faerie Queene

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The Squire of Dames is an unnamed squire that we meet in book 3 of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

Since the theme of book 3 is chastity, the Squire of Dames shows us a very different angle on this theme.

In his case, he was trying to seduce a lady, but the lady told him to go and please as many other women as he could in order to win her favor. And while not overtly stated, it is implied that the Squire of Dames is meant to sexually please all of these women.

So he does so, with 300 of them.

When he returns, the woman he was trying to seduce is not pleased that he had sexual relations with so many women (go figure), so she tasks him with finding 300 women who would not accept his advances. This turns out to be more difficult.

This ridiculous “quest” is meant to be a parody of chivalry, and a contrast to the many good knights in The Faerie Queene who remain loyal to one woman, such as the Redcrosse knight.

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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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