“Fleshy slime” has the Ability to Perform Miracles

The Faerie Queen implies that the perfect characteristics of Belphœbe exist in her because she is untainted by the human flesh, therefore this strong relationship between evil and flesh would be weakened by Gregory Palamus who discusses the possibility of deification of the flesh in Medieval Philosophy: A Multicultural Reader. Belphœbe gifted with chastity, grace, and a gentle nature is only referred to in a positive way throughout the novel. In addition, it appears that Belphœbe and her twin’s never straying good nature can be credited to an extraordinary birth where the stars were aligned in an ideal formation. More specifically, her chaste Mother, named Chrysognee, is impregnated by sun beams, which tend to symbolize the Holy Spirit, while in a deep slumber. Thus it is said that Belphœbe’s birth, “was of the wombe of Morning dew, and her conception of the ioyous Prime, and all her whole creation did her shew pure and vnspotted from all loathly crime, that is ingenerate in fleshly slime” (Spenser, 3, 6, 3). This portrays a common association where sin is rooted in human flesh because it sparks lust in the heart of an individual and causes one to stray away from God. 

While this is an accepted opinion, monk Gregory Palamus would counter that evil is not innate in “fleshy slime,” because the body performs the works of God. Palamus explains, “in a spiritual man, the grace of the Spirit, transmitted to the body through the soul, grants to the body also the experience of things divine, and allows it the same blessed experiences as the soul undergoes” (Foltz, 216). Here Palamus discusses the deification of the flesh that occurs when consistently interacting with divine energies. He also says that it is crass to believe that the body is always motivated by corporeal and material passions because the body has the ability to reject all interactions with evil things (Foltz, 217). Thus, this way of thinking allows an opposite, progressive, uplifting, inspiring, Divine perspective on the human body. * All in all, Edmund Spenser implies that sin is deep-seated in “fleshy slime” in which Belphœbe lacks. Yet, this is not always the case. Palamus’s writing shows that one does not require an exceptional birth to be free from the temptations of human flesh, for the human body does not necessarily equal sin as believed and seen in The Faerie Queen. Palamus depicts the body as a physical vessel for divine energies that is capable of performing miracles. **


**Arrangement: Conclusion/Epilogue