Off-campus University of Richmond users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log in to our proxy server with your university username and password.

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Louis Schwartz


At midnight in a foreign castle, Britomart, the knight of Chastity, disarms, and the sinister Malecasta takes notice. Britomart is not the first of Edmund Spenser’s knights to be rendered vulnerable by removing armor: the Red Cross knight of Book I was assailed by an incarnation of his own pride after similarly letting down his guard. But for Britomart, Spenser’s most prominent female warrior, there is no battle that is solely with the self. Women in The Faerie Queene are always invested with social significance as daughters, mothers, lovers, tempters, and idols. So when Britomart takes off her armor, she becomes vulnerable to the lust and malevolence of others, as well as to her own too trusting nature.