Narrative, time, and trauma theory in Spenser's The faerie queene
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The complex narrative structure of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene has been noted and studied at length. The timeline gets muddled in places, stopping in stasis, racing ahead over periods of time, and even defying logic. This thesis looks at the poem through the lens of Trauma Theory to explain and understand breaks in the narrative such as stases and swoons, the time loop in Book III, repeated double woundings, and other narrative anomalies. Trauma Theory is concerned with the effect that trauma has on a text, and The Faerie Queene is full of violence and psychological traumas. In Book III, the woundings are woundings of love, and a time loop emerges that cannot be reconciled to the timeline. Traumatic events contribute to the uneven pacing of the novel, and the trauma in The Faerie Queene breaks down the linear narrative structure, leading to anachronies.