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Jesus Christ and the Red Cross Knight

-Jesus Christ and the Red Cross Knight- In his first book of The Faerie Queen, Edmund Spenser recites the tale of the Red Cross Knight and the many trials and tribulations that he encounters along his quest to save Princess Una's kingdom. Throughout the tale Spenser makes many allusions to the Red Cross Knight being a Christ-like character. All of the qualities and attributes which Red Cross develops along the way lead up to his personification of Christ on the third day of the dragon fight. Many of these allusions are contained in small images and references.The first image that Spenser uses to relate the tale's significance to Christianity and Christ appears in canto I stanza iv: A lovely Ladie rode him faire beside, Upon a lowly Asse more white then snow, Yet she much whiter,... Seemed in heart some hidden care she had,And by her line a milke white lambe she lad. (I.iv.)An image from the New Testament can be grasped from this scene. Picture Red Cross as Joseph on his way to Bethlehem leading the Virgin Mother Mary, Princess Una, who is riding on an ass carrying Jesus Christ the Lamb of God in her womb or in this case behind her. Although through this image Red Cross is seen as Joseph and not Christ, it is understood later in the story that the lamb represents what Red Cross could become through the help of Una and the trials he will face during his quest. The vision of Una as the virgin Mother of Christ solidifies her as having such characteristics as chastity, truth, and innocence. Each of these cement Una in the role of a perfect Romance maiden, one who can lead her champion to his utmost potential: that of a true romance hero. The adventures of Red Cross mirror the temptation in the dessert of Jesus by Satan. "After spending forty days and forty nights without food, Jesus was hungry. Then the Devil came to him and said, 'If you are God's Son, order these stones to turn into bread...'"(Matthew 4.2-3) These temptations o...

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