History KS3 / GCSE: Queen Elizabeth I and her use of language as propaganda

This short film explores Elizabeth I's use of 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.

This short film is from the BBC Two series, The Ascent of Woman.

Teacher Notes

Student could examine the text to identify where and how Elizabeth addresses attitudes of opposition to female monarchs.

They might then compare the speech to the Rainbow portrait (or similar) of Elizabeth, to identify recurring propaganda messages.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching history at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Fourth Level and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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