Then he rode onward with the dead giant's companion, the lady Duessa, whom he believed to be good because he was "too simple and too true" to know her wicked.
Meanwhile Duessa had led the Red Cross Knight to the house of Pride.
When the false Duessa discovered that the Red Cross Knight had fled, she followed him and found him resting beside a fountain.
Guided by the Dwarf they reached the castle of the Giant, and here a fearful fight took place in which Prince Arthur conquered Duessa's Dragon and killed the Giant.
Once more the Red Cross Knight was free and reunited to his Lady, while the false Duessa was unmasked and shown to be a bad old witch, who fled away "to the wasteful wilderness apace."
Thus Duessa, sad to say, is meant to be the fair, unhappy Queen of Scots, the wicked magician is the Pope, and so on.
So likewise the witch Duessa
is both Papal Falsehood and Mary Queen of Scots; Prince Arthur both Magnificence and (with sorry inappropriateness) the Earl of Leicester; and others of the characters stand with more or less consistency for such actual persons as Philip II of Spain, Henry IV of France, and Spenser's chief, Lord Grey.