Queen Elizabeth

Essay by dpwboopUniversity, Bachelor's December 2004

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As a youthful woman, Elizabeth Tudor seemed to be the hapless daughter of an ill-fated mother, Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. With her half sister and brother, Elizabeth was moved from place to place and subjected to fluctuating harsh and pleasant treatment by her unpredictable father. Ironically, Elizabeth, who outlived Henry's other children, was considered by him an inadequate promise of a stable succession and reign and was, because of her sex, an inadvertent component in her mother's downfall. However, as Elizabeth I of England, she proved to be a singularly long-lived Tudor. Her genuine success and stature as Queen of England was a momentous factor in the prominence of the position of women during the English Renaissance, although Elizabeth herself showed little concern in encouraging the rights of other females. In the era of restricted permissible enfranchisement for women, Elizabeth maintained her control and independence by remaining single.

The lack of confidence shown by Henry VIII in the viability of the rule of a female was not uncommon in an age that questioned women. The Virgin Queen's prosperity demonstrates an fascinating comparison to the fatal destiny of her cousin, Mary Stuart, who was incapable either to perform her personal needs or to retain control of her realm as a married woman.

Elizabeth had Henry's red hair, his sagacity, his physical stamina, and his sparkling personality, but not his ability to make rapid decisions, his callous, cunning ruthlessness, his absolute lack of ethics and his disregard of everything except his own personal benefit and preference. She had Anne Boleyn's ebullience and charisma, but not her dauntlessness and her irresponsibility. But Elizabeth's fate and all her endeavors were determined by the fact that she was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. A father...