Archimago


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Archimago

uses sorcery to deceive people. [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
See: Deceit

Archimago

enchanter epitomizing wickedness. [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
See: Evil

Archimago

enchanter, disguised as hermit, wins confidence of Knight. [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
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Thus, in the first book the Red Cross Knight is deceived by Archimago (Fraud, the "shape-changing" performer; cf.
Acrasia tempts his victims with images that imitate life (II, XII), Busirane projects them into his allegories after imprisoning Amoret (III, XII), Archimago frames a spirit of "liquid air" into a perfect resemblance of Una, one that is perfectly "lively" and able to ravish "the weaker sense," and that he sends to Redcrosse in the hope of corrupting him (I, I, stanza 45).
In the very first canto of Book I, readers are confronted with the allegorical monster, Errour, and a Catholic hermit who reveals himself to be the evil sorcerer, Archimago. These figures set the tone for the religious statement that Spenser makes on the validity and nature of the Catholic Church in relation to the Protestant faith that Spenser's heroes will adhere to through the rest of the work.
It is also telling that Una is not named until near the end of the first canto, and then it is only in connection with Archimago's false Una.
(9) Therefore, when Redcrosse emerges from a period of spiritual hibernation through the influence of the enchanter Archimago to fight Sans Foy ('Faithless'), the poem relates, "the sleeping spark/Of natiue vertue gan eftsoones reuiue" (I.ii.19; emphasis added).
(Spenser's description of Archimago as one who "could file his tongue as smooth as glas" [I.i.35] immediately comes to mind.) Likewise, given the book's emphasis on Reformist thought and humanism, it is surprising to find not a single reference to Milton.
In addition, in Hind Dryden alludes to and reworks Spenser's Monster Error, Duessa, and Archimago. See Miner, Works, 433.
The study begins with Book I of The Faerie Queene, in which, Tiffany contends, pilgrimage poses an irresolvable interpretative problem--on the one hand, the poem repudiates the vestiges of Catholic pilgrimage in its depictions of Archimago and Duessa, replacing them with the Protestant journey inward of Redcrosse Knight that culminates in the House of Holiness; on the other, the book ends with Redcrosse's "profane" journey outward to Cleopolis (London), which allegorically becomes a shrine to Elizabeth I's worldly power, thus pilgrimage becomes an "imperial endeavor" (66).
Chapter 2 centers on book 1 of the Faerie Queene, which figures pilgrimage both as a sign of unholy superstition (Archimago in the guise of "the Pilgrim"), and as a model for Redcrosse's journey toward the ideal city of Cleopolis, itself modeled on Elizabeth's court.
Deceived by Archimago, Red Crosse abandons Una (who represents truth in the allegory), thinking her unfaithful and defiled.
Spenser's Archimago helps us to understand better Iago, even though