Elizabeth I Essay

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Elizabeth I, the First Female Feminist “The Queen did not fish for men’s souls, and had so sweet a bait no one could escape her network.” PERSON WHO SAID THIS on Queen Elizabeth I. Through bribery, manipulation and flirtation she was able to persuade her court members and create strong bonds with allies. She became an international icon of female strength and power and to this day is a symbol of success. She refused to marry but also remained a virgin her entire life. In renaissance culture virginity in women was a courtly ideal that automatically entailed comparisons with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Elizabeth remains well known as “The Virgin Queen.” Though countless men offered their hands, she remained single, maintaining her independence and most importantly her power. Her unique morals broke the stereotype set on women in sixteenth century England, pioneering the fight for women’s rights. To England she was a Queen, a mother to the church, to her councilors a nagging wife and to her courtiers a seductress. Elizabeth I became one of the first female feminists by sculpting her country into a powerhouse and flaunting her femininity. However, even though a single woman led the country, English women were still given very little rights. The ideal sixteenth century woman was silent, obedient, and domestic. She belonged in the kitchen and was expected to live under the authority of men. Women were believed to be physically, intellectually and emotionally inferior to men. Unmarried women suffered the most in the 1500s. They had little to look forward to other than becoming a mistress or lady of the court. Queen Elizabeth I used her femininity to her own advantage and began a reform of female stereotypes. It was difficult for many Englishmen to believe that a woman held not only the title of Queen but had the

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