Malbecco

Malbecco

seeing his wife living among satyrs, he is so mad with jealosy that he casts himself from a cliff. [Br. Lit.: Spenser The Faerie Queene; Brewer Dictionary, 336]
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
(3) Later Spenser describes a more sexual group of satyrs: in Book 3, Canto 9, he introduces Dame Hellenore, wife of old Malbecco; she is seduced by Sir Paridell, who then abandons her (Canto 10), and she, wandering in a wood, comes upon a group of satyrs, who take her as housewife, goat-milker, maker of cheese and bread, and common sexual partner ("euery one as commune good her handeled," stanza 36).
He soon becomes sleepy and sees a dream in his sleep, which is shown to the audience by the use of the discovery space: "He [St Dunston] layeth him down to sleep; Lightning and Thunder; the Curtains drawn, on a sudden Pluto, Minos, AEacus, Rhadamantus set in Counsell, before them Malbecco his Ghost guarded with Furies" (G2v).
He follows a pattern which Spenser realizes more completely in the character of Malbecco. (17) Spenser develops Malbecco's personal history throughout cantos ix and x in Book III.
Finally Spenser points out that Malbecco is called "Jealousy" ...
Having abducted Malbecco's wife, he tires of her and curtly deserts her:
In "Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market' and Spenser's Malbecco" (N&Q 55, no.1), Humphries finds a number of suggestive similarities between "Goblin Market"'s description of fruits and woods and The Fairie Queene's catalogue of trees in Book I, and Laura's fate and the ill-effects of Malbecco's diet of toads and frogs in Book III.
(69) Feeling sleepy, "He layeth him down to sleep; lightning and thunder; the curtains drawn, on a sudden Pluto, Minos, AEacus, Rhadamantus set in counsell, before them Malbecco his ghost guarded with Furies" (1.1.42.s.d.).
By contrast, Malbecco mistakes both Hellenore and his wealth as ends in themselves rather than as paths to God, generation, or public commerce, sequestering both along with himself, and in this idolatrous misreading becomes himself an icon, both a sign of jealousy and the thing itself.
Her splendid opening chapters contrast the constructed subjectivities of Britomart, the heroine of Book iii, and Malbecco, whom Gregerson casts as her counterpart, the one looking outwards into the mirror that forces her into a process of fluid self hood and a constant revision of the boundaries of separating enemy and kindred, the other seeing nothing beyond the image itself and so plunging into a dangerous stasis until he becomes the abstract personification of a deadly sin, jealousy.
The illustrations to 'The Little Boy Lost' and 'The Little Boy Found' shows the child saved from the dark uncertainty of the wood, an eminently Spenserian theme.(16) The Bacchanalian revels depicted in the illustration to 'Laughing Song' might also owe something to Kent's illustrations of the unsettling celebrations of the satyrs depicted in Kent's illustrations 'Una conducted by Satyrs to Silvanus' (plate ten) and 'Malbecco discovers his Wife Hellenora amongst the Satyrs' (plate twenty-four).(17)
Meanwhile Sir Satyrane meets the libertine Sir Paridell, and they come to the castle of Malbecco (Jealousy), an aged miser, and his beautiful young wife, Hellenore.
Busyrane is simply an external seducer, a rival of Scudamour, attempting to instill in Amoret a false notion of love - gallantry leading to adultery; he is undersexed like Malbecco and Proteus, needing to have his "Desyre" "kindled busily" and auto-erotically "by his higher faculties" (84); that he wounds Amoret means he is a threat "to love and marriage as social institutions" (90) - surely a reading more allegorical than psychological.