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.
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.