Date of Award

Spring 1985

Document Type



Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Henry Burgess

Second Advisor

Joseph Ward

Third Advisor

Robert Swartout


Elizabeth I was an intriguing and fascinating Queen. From the moment of her birth on 7 September 1533, she was the object of speculation and scandal. She had been thrust into a world that perceived her as a bastard and a mere female. Throughout her life Elizabeth had to fight this double stigma. She had to live through her mother's execution, her father's dangerous ideas, and her stepsister's bloody reign. It was during her stepsister's reign (Queen Mary 1)1 that the young Elizabeth began to come into her own. The people were weary of Mary's endless religious persecutions and they started to focus on her energetic half-sister, Elizabeth. Suddenly, Elizabeth was thought of as the people's rightful heir and ally. Her past seemed to have been forgotten.

When she came to the throne in 1558, "she was a beautiful young woman, with a profusion of auburn hair, a broad commanding brow, and regular features that were capable of rapid changes of expression as her hazel eyes flashed with anger or sparkled with merriment.she died an old, sickly, and heavy-hearted woman on 21 March 1603. biography, fiction, The purpose of The Queens forty-five year reign had been full of turbulence, but she still was regarded as a great Queen and a legendary figure. Elizabeth's life and character have been written about throughout her long reign to the present day. Admiring courtiers of her time sought to edify her through verse; historians of the past and present have strained to paint an accurate picture of her through historical text; modern writers have striven to connect the remaining dots through and drama. this paper is to establish a composite picture of Queen Elizabeth as a multi-faceted character through five representative genres. These five genres will include works of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, and film. A nonfiction biography will objectively explore the Queen s background and personality while underlining her importance within history.

A fictional novel will subjectively present the Queen as a forceful and domineering personality. Two contrasting poems will be used to present opposite views of the Queen's character. The first of these poems will idealize her for her accomplishments. The second will criticize her because of them. Both the recent drama and film will shed biased light on the Queen as an impervious ruler and a vulnerable woman. Together, these five comparative genres will weave a vivid, unified tapestry of Elizabeth I, Queen of England.