Exploring how Elizabeth I used language to establish her power in an era of male rule. The Tilbury speech in particular is assessed and a context for it is given. Dr. Amanda Foreman and actress Fiona Shaw dissect the speech for emphasis and meaning. Elizabeth’s difficult historical position as a queen in a male dominated society is contrasted with her subtle use of language to make her political points. Her methods are also inventively illustrated through portraits and a visit to Westminster Abbey, linking to more widely known visual aspects of her propaganda.

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Teach

Students might examine the Tilbury speech or selected parts of it before writing an empathetic piece outlining the reaction of an Elizabethan man or woman.