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Lecture 8

ENGLISH 4522 Lecture 8: Book II Canto xii

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Sarah Neville

Book II, canto xii Notes written by: Zachary Cain Notes edited by: Summary (100-150 words max): The Boatman rows the boat, and the Palmer steers the rudder. They travel past the “Gulfe of Greedinesse,” “The Rock of Reproach,” and the “wandering Islands.” Phaedria tries to board their boat, but the Palmer rebuked her. They continue to travel past the “quicksand of Unthriftyhed” and the “Whirlepoole of decay.” A large wave with sea monsters comes toward the boat, but the Palmer smites the sea. They pass a maiden crying and the mermaids singing. They march to the “Bower of Blisse,” and the Palmer subdues beasts with staff. They enter the bower, and Sir Guyon spills bowls of Genius and Excess. Guyon passes by a fountain and two women bathing; the Palmer directs him forward. Arcasia and Verdant are surrounded by ladies and boys singing and dancing. Guyon and the Palmer traps Arcasia with a net, and then Guyon destroys the garden. New characters introduced: • Excess: she wears faire clothes, which are disordered and loose; her right hand holds a cup of gold; her left hand squeezes the ripe fruit into the cup; Guyon breaks the cup • Genius: he is the soul or the self of the “Garden of Blisse”; he is decked with flowers and a loose garment; he has a large bowl of wine, which was sacrificed to him, and a staff (a formality); Guyon spills the bowl and breaks the staff • Verdant: his name means “one who give
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