The Faerie Queene II.xii: The Bower of Blisse
1. Analogies for the boat voyage:
a. Christ's descent into hell
b. The Odyssey, Books 10 and 12
c. The Palmer steers. The boatman is will.
2. Five mermaids (30).
3. The gate: Jason and Medea (44).
4. What kind of paradise is the Bower of Blisse? See stanzas 42, 58-59. See especially the ivory gate in 43.
a. Excesse (55): taste and smell
b. Fountain (60, 63, 66): sight
c. The Bower proper: hearing and touch
Wallace Shugg, "Prostitution in Shakespeare's London": "...the Elizabethan brothel was a place where a man could eat, drink, smoke, hear a lewd song, and--for a price ranging from sixpence to half a crown or so--take his pleasure with a woman."
6. What is up with Cymochles (73)?
7. Guyon's destruction of the Bower (83):
a. Catching Acrasia in a net (81)
b. Destroying the Bower (83)
Madeline S. Gohlke, "Embattled Allegory: Book II of The Faerie Queene": "The internal pressure of resistance finally erupts into 'the tempest of wrathfulnesse,' into the state of perverted sexual energy which destroys the object of his desire. ... Guyon's rage against the garden expresses his rage against Acrasia as a betrayer, and against his own sexual nature as a force which undermines from within...."
c. Temperance or continence?
8. Grille (86).