Courting Elizabeth : the virgin queen and Elizabethan literature Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9880vt459

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  • Sixteenth century Elizabeth I of England has long been a figure of interest to Renaissance scholars, and their work largely focuses on how her gender impacted the power, politics, and culture of her day. Many have perceived her to be a heroine whose ingenuity and determination circumvented the limitations imposed on a female ruler in patriarchal Renaissance England. In my thesis, I examine the life and work of Elizabeth I, and the self-representations she constructed within the boundaries imposed on highborn women. In the first half of my thesis, I suggest that she embraced and utilized the female roles available to her to secure agency and a degree of safety for both herself and England. In the second half, I suggest that masculine subjects such as Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser, in turn, sought to manipulate her later self-representations to negotiate their own agency and identity which was perceived to be beset with anxieties and biases stemming from the ageing Queen's seizure and redefinition of the female gender role allotted to her. A chronological examination of the self representations evident in her personal writing, commissioned portraiture, parliamentary speeches, and sonnets, as well as the poetry of two of her foremost masculine subjects, suggests a shift in gender politics and a tension roused by an ageing Queen regnant in a rigidly patriarchal society.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-04-17T20:15:01Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 22765 bytes, checksum: 56265f5776a16a05899187d30899c530 (MD5) license_text: 0 bytes, checksum: d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e (MD5) THESIS post formating - done.pdf: 291053 bytes, checksum: 18f7a8aabdbb89237a6ee8760e4ad8bd (MD5)
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