Epithalamion is an ode written by Edmund Spenser as a gift to his bride, Elizabeth Boyle, on their wedding day. The poem moves through the. English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray. The Harvard Classics. – Epithalamion. Edmund Spenser (–). It might sound like scientific jargon, but Edmund Spenser’s ‘Epithalamion’ is actually a sort of love poem! Explore this lesson to discover more.

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Spenser is asking for help from Bacchus in fertility with Elizabeth. Spenser is wishing for a peaceful time with his bride.

Epithalamion | poem by Spenser |

Bacchus is the Roman version of the Greek’s Dionysus. It is spying on the couple’s love. The use of animals as symbols can be inferred as Spenser wishing the night of the ceremony and the future to being pleasant and uninterrupted.

There are lines in total. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. The poem describes the day in detail. He asks the nymphs to wake his sleeping love so the day can epithxlamion. She is white, like the moon, emphasizing her virginity and beauty.

The couple’s love is being watched by the moon, who is taking the time to do so.

Voltaire, one of the greatest of all French writers. Cynthia is a female name given to Mount Cynthus.

Poetry is a vast subject, as old as history and older, present wherever religion is present, possibly—under…. They had a child and Eos asked Zeus to give Tithonus immortality.


He begs for fertility from Bacchus so he can make a life with Elizabeth. When she finally wakes, the two head to the church. And she is going to be a caring one, Spenser hopes.

Spenser’s wedding is one day; the first 16 stanzas are the day time and the last 8 are the night time, and the relationship with Boyle has been occurring for a year. But Alcmene was already married to Amphitryon [8]the King of Tiryns.

Epithalamion (poem) – Wikipedia

Spenser wants the best marriage and life with his bride, because she is the most important thing to him. Spenser uses the structure of his writing to portray the length of time his love will last: The use of the Greek mythology is to emphasize how strong his love is. Anxiety got the best of Orpheus, and right when they reached Earth he looked back, forgetting that they both needed to be in the upper world and that Eurydice was epityalamion in it.

Comparing his love to that of great myths is all to make his love seem grand.

There are 24 stanzas and lines in the poem to represent the year leading up to Spenser’s wedding day [5]. One can infer he is envisioning the future in this stanza, and how time will cease for the couple eventually.


Spenser is once again asking for a blessing from a god. The mythology tells that Selene was in love with the Shepherd. Throughout the poem, the stanzas are structured with 18 or 19 lines. The poem uses many symbols to display the intense love Spenser has for Elizabeth, and his deepest wishes. Spenser married Boyle; who was much younger than him, the same year his previous wife passed. Keep Exploring Britannica Bob Dylan. Lyke as when Jove with fayre Alcmena lay, When he begot the great Tirynthian groome: Epithalamion goes in hand with Amoretti.


Maia later gave birth to Hermesbut is also known as the Goddess of Nursing mothers. United States of America: But she forget to ask Zeus for eternal youth. As the ceremony begins, Spenser shifts from praising Greek Gods and beings to Christian language to praise Elizabeth.

Poetry by Edmund Spenser poems. Essays on Values in Literature Internet URLs are the best. They are the gods of wine, agriculture and fertility. The Moon is rising, the day is ending. Lord Byron, British Romantic poet and satirist whose poetry and personality captured the imagination…. To glorify her or put on the altar as a mediator between God and humanity is against the Protestant beliefs Spenser has dedicated his life to.

The couple wakes up, and Spenser begs the muses to help him on his artistic endeavor for the day. At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context.

In the 15th stanza, Spenser changes the structure [6].

Spenser asks that these birds be quiet. Retrieved 1 May