"Breaking the Land:" Genres of Planting in The Faerie Queene
This thesis examines the development of the georgic in Spenser's writing in relation to Virgil's conception of the genre. By reading closely the Georgics, The Faerie Queene, and A View of the State of Ireland, I aim to show that georgic themes play a significant role in Spenser's epic and the contemporary English colonial ambitions in Ireland. To what extent does Spenser engage with the georgic? Why does Virgil's second poem appeal to Spenser, in terms of themes, symbols, and literary technique? How does this change our understanding of Spenser's epic poem and his views of the Irish situation in which he lived? In this essay, I attempt to answer these questions by analyzing Spenser's writing within its early modern literary and political context. My investigation thus focuses on Spenser's use of agricultural imagery, despite the epic genre in which he composed his most famous work.