Book I, canto ix
Notes written by: Logan Householder
Notes edited by:
Summary (100-150 words max): After defeating Duessa, Arthur, Redcrosse, and Una
ride off together. Arthur explains that he is of a noble birth and rightfully a prince. This
raises questions for Redcrosse and Una, who ask what brought him to Faery land.
Arthur doesn’t give a very straightforward answer at first, instead telling them that he
thinks fate brought him here. Eventually he explains that he is also searching for the
Faerie Queene herself to cure his lovesickness. Shortly afterwards, Arthur departs and
gives Redcrosse a gift. As Redcrosse and Una ride away, they encounter a fleeing
knight named Trevisian. Redcrosse stops Trevisian and asks him why he is fleeing.
Trevisian then explains that he is fleeing Despair, who had just caused a fellow knight to
take his own life. This troubles Redcrosse, who demands to be shown the way to
Despair in order to defeat him. When they arrive, Redcrosse finds Despair to be an old
man sitting in a cave who tries to convince him to take his own life. Despair argues that
Redcrosse sins greater and greater every day, so it’s best if he just ends his life before
he makes it worse. Ultimately, Redcrosse needs Una to save him and Despair hangs
New characters introduced:
• Trevisian- Is seen riding fast towards the crew while looking behind him (I.ix.21).
Mimics some characteristics of the Redcrosse before his fall in canto vii. Reveals
that he is fleeing Despair and offers to take the Redcrosse back to fight him.
• Despair- A cunning and deceptive old man who lives in a cave. Is introduced to
Redcrosse via Trevisian, who hopes that he will defeat Despair. Instead, Despair
nearly convinces Redcrosse to take his own life by convincing him that he is
straying too far from the path and it is better to prevent himself from straying any
further. Despair hangs himself at the end of the canto, but death has no effect on
• Terwin- Appears I.ix.27.3. Is Trevisian’s former companion who gave into
Despair. He was