Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation by Susan Frye

By Susan Frye

Elizabeth I could be the main noticeable lady in early sleek Europe, but little cognizance has been paid to what she acknowledged in regards to the problems of creating her energy in a patriarchal society. This revisionist research examines her fight for authority in the course of the illustration of her woman physique. according to various extant ancient and literary fabrics, Frye's interpretation specializes in 3 representational crises spaced fifteen years aside: the London coronation of 1559, the Kenilworth entertainments of 1575, and the booklet of The Faerie Queene in 1590. In methods which various with social type and old situation, the London retailers, the contributors of the Protestant faction, courtly artists, and crafty courtiers all sought to stabilize their very own gendered identities by means of developing the queen in the "natural" definitions of the female as passive and susceptible. Elizabeth fought again, appearing as a discursive agent by way of crossing, and hence disrupting, those definitions. She and people heavily pointed out along with her pursuits advanced a few options in which to specific her political regulate when it comes to the possession of her physique, together with her intricate iconography and a mythic biography upon which such a lot money owed of Elizabeth's lifestyles were dependent. The extra authoritative her photograph turned, the extra vigorously it was once contested in a procedure which this research examines and consciously perpetuates.

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42 The competition for representation is readily visible in spectacles, literature, and paintings, for the allegorical images of Queen Elizabeth represent not only the self-sufficient chastity of sovereign discourse, but also the woman whose sexuality comes under masculinist control. Examples include published spectacles like Richard Mulcaster's Queen's Majesty's Passage and George Gascoigne's Princely Pleasures at the Courte at Kenelwoorth, Literary examples include drama like John Lyly's Endymion and Ben Jonson's Cynthia's Revels, prose, including Philip Sidney's Old and New Arcadias; and such poetry as Walter Ralegh's Book of the Ocean to Cynthia and Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calender and The Faerie Queene.

Even though Elizabeth herself was no feminist—in the sense that she did not concern herself with the situation of other women—in her own interest she developed and worked for representations of female autonomy and power that both underwrote and jeopardized the apparently natural fabric of signification. 1 Engendered Economics: Elizabeth Ps Coronation Entry (1559) When Elizabeth I participated in her coronation entry, she entered a London as yet unmarked by her reign. 2 But in mid-January 1559, when Elizabeth crossed the city to pause for entertainment at six hubs of economic activity, her reign did not yet exist.

8 Civic leaders, courtiers, poets, artists, and playwrights representing various political perspectives variously allegorized the queen's body through the overlapping, even contradictory images that developed and recurred throughout the fortyfive years of her reign. 10 The Queen's Majesty's Passage provides a logical starting place for examining the iconography of Elizabeth and its relation to her self-representation. The description of the eight scenes of the entry itself—the presentation of the royal genealogy at Fenchurch; the Seate of Worthie Governance device at Cornhill; the Eight Beatitudes at Sopers Lane; Truth, the Daughter of Time, presented in Cheapside, with a digression to describe the elaborately staged presentation of the city's purse to the queen; the oration at St.

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