Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wayne Erickson

Second Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Third Advisor

Murray Brown


This Master’s Thesis seeks to explain the internal conflicts faced by Guyon, the titular hero of Book II of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene. Starting with Thomas Aquinas’ designations of the sensitive versus the intellectual appetite, I show that Guyon struggles to maintain the dominance of his intellectual appetite as he puts his vaunted temperance to a series of tests. The hero manages to appease his sensitive appetite through the vice of curiositas, yet the power of his sensitive appetite demands dramatic and violent acts of repression to quash it in Mammon’s Cave and in the Bower of Bliss. Guyon’s intellectual appetite to maintain temperance in Gloriana’s kingdom, aided by the guidance of the Palmer, leads Guyon to succeed in his quest yet reveals the incompatibility between temperance and the desirous and glory-seeking life of a knight errant.