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Prior to the fourteenth century, epic poets never thought of love as a fit emotion for their heroes, but during the Renaissance it became a suitable passion “even to the Heroical.” In this book Mark Rose analyzes the treatment of love in Sidney’s Arcadia and Spenser’s The Faerie Queen. The author begins with an examination of Elizabethan attitudes toward love and marriage, and explains the difficulty faced by the poets in appealing to both the rigid moralist and the spirited youth. The sections that follow on The Arcadia and The Faerie Queen, which may be read as separate critical essays, provide original and lucid discussions of a central theme in these epics.