Elizabeth I: Was She Truly The Ultimate British Feminist Icon?

1342 Words6 Pages
Susan Doran tells us that Great Britons still hold the opinion that, “Elizabeth I is both the best known and the most admired monarch” (Doran). Alexandra Briscoe states that, “Elizabeth I is considered one of Great Briton’s most successful and popular monarchs” (Doran). Given the efforts to reinterpret and rewrite history due to the issue of gender definitions attributing historical importance to the male and not to the female, the idea that Elizabeth I had this notoriety seems an anomaly of the early modern period. Was her high profile history and success due to luck, laws of succession and coincidence, or did she earn her fame due to her own skill, judgment and intuition? Is it possible her attitude and confidence were really not all that unusual for the time period, but highlighted due to the skewed social recognition of gender? To help explain Elizabeth I’s atypical fame during this period in history, and in order to judge for ourselves the spirit of who she truly was, we should first understand the typical roles of women and the status of women during this early modern period in Europe. We’ll also need to understand her origins. And then of course we’ll need to understand the time period and what she faced as a ruler. [pointment led to Elizabeth’s mother’s beheading when she was just two (Briscoe). She was raised by governesses and tutors, studying with scholars, and educated to the highest standards, learning public speaking, and how to turn the tide of opinion in her favor (Briscoe). Briscoe states that Henry VIII’s sixth wife made sure of this education. This learning was unusual for a young woman of this period; however, she was born into a royal family, creating the means, and likely justification, for her ability to become educated. Therefore, Elizabeth I’s skill, judgment and intuition, which ultimately led to her success, were not so unusual
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