Elizabeth I Essay, Research Paper
Queen Elizabeth I was actually born named Elizabeth Tudor on September 7, 1533. She was born at Greenwich Palace and was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife (after England s split from the Catholic Church), Anne Boleyn. She was crowned Queen of England on January14, 1559 and reigned for the next 44 years and 4 months. She was of average height, had red hair and brown eyes. Apparently she had a very pleasant smile, even with her black teeth. She is remembered by such names as the Virgin Queen and Good Queen Bess .
Her childhood was a rather tumultuous one, with her father paying very little or no attention to her. Her governess had to even write to him saying that Elizabeth needed some clothes because all of the ones that she had were too small. Her mother was executed when she was 2 years old after being accused of adultery, incest etc. Basically Henry VII needed a way of getting rid of her for not bearing him a son. Elizabeth had three stepmothers in the first eight years of her life, two of who died. After her father s death, the throne went to her Catholic half-sister Mary. But her policies if burning Protestants at the stake and an unsuccessful war with France, wherein she lost Callais, made her less than popular. She was always particularly suspicious of Elizabeth and kept her highly guarded after Thomas Wyatt launches a rebellion to ruin Mary s plan to marry a Catholic Spaniard. Wyatt wanted Elizabeth to marry the Earl of Devon to keep Britain Protestant after Elizabeth s ascension to the throne. But when on trial, she was accused of being an accomplice of Wyatt, she proved her innocence. In her final years, Mary was unwillingly forced to acknowledge Elizabeth a successor to the throne. At age 25, she became Queen and now she would make all of the decisions.
As Queen, She had many pastimes that kept her busy when she was not dealing with state matters. She played instruments, drew, sewed, and embroidered. She was mad about horses to the point where her Councilors were worried for her safety. Few people in England could match the speed and distance the Queen rode. Hunting and hawking were also very much enjoyed and when an animal was caught, she would be asked to cut its throat. During these times, violent animal sports were very popular such as cock fighting, dog fighting, and bear baiting. Elizabeth particularly liked bear baiting. She loved to watch sports, especially when friends played. Her love for dance and music were great. Every morning she would dance The Gilliard to stay fit and she apparently had a good voice. Not only that, she loved theatre. She even had her own group of actors who would perform for her called The Queen s Players. She exercised her mind as well as her body. She was familiar with all the Classics and she could read in French and Latin. IN the later years of her life she took particular enjoyment in translating Classics into English. The poems that she wrote were said to have been very well composed.
Even though rumors surround her to this day, Queen Elizabeth did not have a myriad of lovers. The only man with whom she had significant relations was Robert Dudley. With him she shared her love for sports, arts and especially horses. But even at the early age of eight, she told him that she would never marry him, even though he later proposed to her several times. She gave the reason that the political circumstances were unfavorable. But most experts say that it was a fear of marriage induced by her father s behavior towards women. She did not want to be treated like that.
One of Elizabeth s greatest achievements was the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. For a long time before this, there had been rumors that King Phillip of Spain, the most powerful nation on earth, was planning an invasion of England. At first Elizabeth did not pay much attention because she had heard these rumors for the past thirty years. But she was later forced to prepare for war by her Councilors and the actual threat from Spain, which was massing an overwhelming amount of warships. With an army ready and a very effective advanced warning system in place, Britain was ready to fight the Spanish. In this unprecedented event, the small island nation humiliated the great Spanish Armada in its efforts to try to take England. And Elizabeth was right there where the action was, refusing to be pent-up in some palace. She was always inspecting her troops and giving speeches. She said she would be with her loyal subjects in times of trouble and said that she would, live or die amongst you all.
In many ways Elizabeth was a very enlightened monarch during times when this was unheard of. She seemed very amiable and down to earth. Her early sufferings made her more human and understanding than other absolute kings or queens of her age. It is no wonder that Shakespeare epitomizes her so, as has history.