House of Busirane

In reading Book III of the Faerie Queen, it was important to keep to the idea of the virtue of chastity in mind. It was after all, the basis for the entire third book. Chastity is idealized throughout in the characters of three women we see in Book III: Britomart, Amoret and Belphoebe. Belphoebe and Amoret however, are only less perfect depictions of chastity than is Britomart, the main character of Book III. Britomart embodies all that is pure and chaste in the story, culminating with her rescue of Amoret in the House of Busirane.

                Britomart’s journey to and within the House of Busirane is the most interesting storyline of the book. She becomes aware of her love early in the book when she sees Artegall in Merlin’s magic mirror and is then faced with the dilemma that many go through in their lives of rejecting false passions and desires and waiting for true love. Her struggle is seen all throughout the book, but we only see its essence in the final scene in the House of Busirane.

                Once Britomart enters through the moat of lames into the House of Busirane, she is immediately both horrified and fascinated by the depictions of the Cupid wars that occupy the tapestries along the walls. The tapestries depict the histories of erotic love and lust, yet Britomart guards herself from the menacing mask of Cupid, failing to give in to neither sensual attractions nor despair. Britomart, un-phased, continues on till she encounters Busirane and the images of lust disappear. She does not kill Busirane, however, because both throughout the book and from her encounter with Amoret, Britomart has learned to suppress her passions and not to act purely on instincts. And such discipline is what makes Britomart the near-perfect portrayal of chastity that she is. Chastity, after all, is the ability to suppress the evils of lust and sexual ideas until one finds their true love.



PS: Having read with the idea of our game in mind, I think it would be sweet if we could implement the House of Busirane into our designing. The flame moat and sex tapestries would sell copies by themselves.


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