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Lecture 4

ENGL 2100 Lecture 4: Readers Response 1

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University of Connecticut
ENGL 2100
Katherine Ormsby

Tegan Ward Kate Ormsby ENGL 2100: Brit Lit I February 22, 2017 The Questionable Legitimacy of the Publicized Version of Queen Elizabeths Speech to the House of Commons In the 15 and 16 centuries, womens words and writings were often reviewed and twisted to fit the expected gender role that society wanted them to uphold and the tone of voice that officials believed the public should obtain from them. The gap between the delivery of Queen Elizabeths speech to the House of Commons and its publication raises controversy over the legitimacy of how accurately the publication reflects her original words. When faced with a difficult question, Elizabeth refers to a philosopher who, when faced with the same predicament, would defer the question and rehearse what he knows would be an appropriate response before responding as such (753). It seems to me that a Queen so close to the end of her reign would not want to be known as one that dodges difficult questions, rather, answers them with grace to the best of her ability. One reason that the publishers of this speech may have altered her words is to make her appear as an indecisive ruler. During her reign, having a husband and children was the most important aspect to the public so that there would be a legitimate heir to the thrown when she passed away. If Parliament was taking such a strong interest in the fact she never married and was indecisive in what would occur after her death, what would stop the publishers from twisting her words from her speech to make it clear that her rule should maybe come to a closer end?
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