Opposed to Britomart's chaste constancy stand various examples of salacity, such as Lady Malecasta at the Castle Joyous.
Lady Malecasta presides over the castle, with a pack of faded busy-bodies from The Romance of the Rose as her liegemen.
She argues that The Faerie Queene in particular engages sixteenth-century cultural anxiety about female interpretive autonomy and the tendency to sexualize women's reading, using the Castle Joyous and Hellenore-Paridell episodes in book 3 to argue that Spenser endorses Britomart's correct, patriarchal reading of romance, Petrarchan, Ovidian, and historical genres, and yet presents the possibility of more subversive reading in characters such as Malecasta
Whilst the former governs her sexuality properly, the operation occurring from the vegetal soul upwards, storing the seed in the testicles (available in different forms to both sexes), expressing desire in the higher faculties, and controlling sexuality through imagination 'of a virtuous loved one', Malecasta
initiates her desire in the higher faculties, corrupted by inconstancy, which then 'goad the appetites into action' (32).
, the lady of delight, beautiful and wanton, who entertains Britomart in Castle Joyous.
She subdues them and enters the castle, where Queen Malecasta
(Lust), thinking her a man, tries to seduce her.