“Epithalamion,” is a marriage ode written by the English Renaissance poet Edmund Spenser. This poem was published originally with his sonnet sequence . It might sound like scientific jargon, but Edmund Spenser’s ‘Epithalamion’ is actually a sort of love poem! Explore this lesson to discover more. Epithalamion: Epithalamion, marriage ode by Edmund Spenser, originally published with his sonnet sequence Amoretti in The poem celebrates Spenser’s.

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Epithalamion by Edmund Spenser Analysis: Poem Samples – A Research Guide

At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context. The sonnet sequence is special amongst poems of the time of the Renaissance since it records a triumphant love story that culminates in marriage.

It is interesting to compare this poem with the various epithalamia of other writers of the period, especially Herrick and Donne, a little later. With precious merchandise she forth doth lay: Musein Greco-Roman religion and mythology, any of a group of sister goddesses of obscure but ancient origin, the chief centre of whose cult was Mount Helicon in Boeotia, Greece.

Epithalamion by Edmund Spenser

Selene is watching Spenser and Elizabeth with jealousy, because her lover cannot interact with psenser. The stanza poem, one of the best and most glorious marriage odes in English, starts in the early hours of the day of the festive ceremony and continues through the day to the moment of marriage consummation of the newly wed couple. Essays on Values in Literature Now night is come, now soone her disaray, And in her bed her lay; Lay her in lillies and in violets, And silken courteins over her display, And odourd sheetes, and Arras coverlets.

This gives the poem an overall hopeful mood. But if ye saw that which no eyes can see, The inward beauty of her lively spright, Garnisht with heavenly guifts of high degree, Much more then would ye wonder at that sight, And stand astonisht lyke to those which red Medusaes mazeful hed.


Deep South, University of Otago. There dwels sweet love and constant chastity, Unspotted fayth and comely womenhed, Regard of honour and mild modesty, There vertue raynes as Queene in royal throne, And giveth lawes alone. Spenser comments how Elizabeth is so beautiful to him that even the Angels would come down to Earth to look at her.

Which done, doe at her chamber dore awayt, For she will waken strayt, The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing, The woods shall to you answer and your Eccho ring. Her virginity is being sacrificed, but for the sake of making a marriage. Spenser calls on the Muses to help him in his artistic endeavors on this special day. And as ye her array, still throw betweene Some graces to be seene, And as ye use to Venus, to her sing, The whiles the woods shal answer and your eccho ring.

His earlier criticisms of her pride and stubbornness also change to become admiration for her constancy and strength of mind. Spenser asks for blessings for childbearing, fidelity and all things good at the end [4].

Philomela then wove a tapestry to tell her sister. Now he is the hunter and she is the game; he is the victor, and she the vanquished. He asks Hymen to bless his ceremony, so it will last forever.

So Orpheus did for his owne bride, So I unto my selfe alone will sing, The woods shall to me answer and my Eccho ring. Your Password goes here. For they of joy and pleasance to you sing, That all the woods them answer and theyr eccho ring.

His beloved refuses to look favorably upon his suit, so his reaction ranges from despairing self-deprecation to angry tirade against her stubbornness. Bacchus is the Roman version of the Greek’s Dionysus.


Her goodly light, with smiles she drives away. From the third sonnet through the sixty-second sonnet, the speaker is in an almost constant state of emotional turmoil and frustrated hopes.

He begs for fertility from Bacchus so he can make a life with Elizabeth. Newer Post Older Post Home.

He has developed a verse of eighteen lines, with the most complex orchestration of rhyme, and epithalamon line lengths, and a refrain- ‘The woods shall to me answer and my Eccho ring’- subtly altered as the poem proceeds, tracing the progress of the wedding-day from spenserr to night.

Spenxer story that is most known is about the love for his wife. Each character from the mythology is being used to bless the area of the wedding, the ceremony itself, the marriage, Spenser and Elizabeth’s life together, and for the hope of an offspring. For thou likewise didst love, though now unthought, And for a fleece of woll, which privily, The Latmian shephard once unto thee brought, His pleasures with thee wrought. Spenser summwry a majority of the poem praising his bride to be. Song made in lieu of many ornaments, With which my love should duly have bene dect, Which cutting off through hasty accidents, Ye would not stay your dew time to expect, But promist both to recompens, Be unto her a goodly ornament, And for short time an endlesse moniment.

So, he created poetry that was vividly English — in setting and language, in history, customs, in religious beliefs and politics.