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A Contemporary Look at Elizabeth I

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A Contemporary Look at Elizabeth I

This film clip of Queen Elizabeth I seems to depict the Queen as a high-class monarch who displays a figure of perfection but at the same time is very concerned with her age and lessening chance of bearing a child. This apparent concern over infertility does not reflect what she was feeling in the original text of Elizabeth I. In the very opening scene, you see how elegantly her subjects remove her clothing layer by layer. This shows her ability to still be a classy, elegant Queen deserving of such treatment. This scene of meticulous undressing is then followed by a set up of sheets for Queen Elizabeth to be inspected by a doctor on the subject of her fertility. This scene displays her fear that she might not be able to bear child while she waits for the verdict. This fear does not seem to be shared by the Queen in the original text. A head doctor then appears with a team of helpers all seeming to have a specific job, from parting the legs, to holding the instruments which again points to her superiority but at the same time points to her growing concern about fertility. These indicators all point to the fact that she is trying to maintain an appearance of solid control in the kingdom but she knows that it is all compromised by her chance of infertility.

The high-class of England had extravagant clothing that required many helpers and maids to dress and maintain. This shows her superior ranking in the English community, as she is the highest level of authority, besides God. Queen Elizabeth has an enormous responsibility on her hands and has to maintain an appearance of perfection.. This ideology is very well represented in the undressing by her servants. As the layers of clothing come off her body, a different side of the Queen seems to appear. As her sleeves are removed, you see that her shoulders are not defined as they seem. As more is removed, you see that a stomacher shapes her sleek figure and her wide hips are formed by a farthingale, or hooped skirt. This seems to show her desire to be seen as perfect even more. She knows that she is not as pretty and beautiful as she used to be, but she is willing to go to drastic measures to make it seem otherwise.

While the sheets are set up and she is prepared for the examination, you see a look on the Queen's face that hints to what she actually feels about this situation. She has the look of concern and fear. The most important thing in a successful monarchy is succession and the noblemen of England have grown weary of her status of being a potential mother to the heir of the throne. At this point, Queen Elizabeth has refused to marry or to bear a child, (as told in her speeches to Parliament when she was just 25) stating that God shall provide a successor that is more beneficial to the kingdom than any child she



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