Queen Elizabeth's Use of Imagery and Language in The Doubt of Future Foes
Queen Elizabeth persuades her subjects to be faithful and discourages her foes from the pursuit of her throne in the stark imagery of “The Doubt of Future Foes.” Elizabeth uses the three appeals of successful argument to evoke fear and respect in those that may attempt to challenge her position as Queen. The Queen captivates her audience with solid logical arguments and dramatic threatening language while establishing her credibility as a fearless powerful leader, utilizing the logos, pathos, and ethos methods of persuasion. Queen Elizabeth uses an authoritative courageous voice to evoke emotion in her audience, all the while presenting a solid logical persuasive argument to discourage the encroachment of her territory by power hungry foes.
By establishing a stark authoritative tone Elizabeth persuades her audience to obey her, thus effectively employing the pathos method of persuasion. The Queen targets her audience’s emotions in hopes of discouraging any future foes from challenging her position on the throne. Elizabeth speaks to her prideful and ambitious audience of potential rivals from a pedestal making haughty threats and criticisms to breed fear and submission. In the last two lines of the poem Elizabeth makes the most staggering threat of all, “My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ/ To poll their tops that seek such change of gape for future joy.” Although not normally prone to violence, Elizabeth proclaims her thirst for the blood of those that seek to challenge her. The Queen uses courageous, combatant language like that of rusty sword blades and headless enemies, to spawn feelings of fear and frighten her foes into accordance with her desires to maintain her power.
By stressing her disdain towards greed and ambition Queen Elizabeth not only composes an argument dripping with persuasive emotion, the Queen also establishes her credibility as a speaker. The ethos aspects of the poem are apparent in a number of instances. Elizabeth relies a great deal on situated ethos, her pre-existing reputation as the long-standing Queen of England. In lines 11 and 12 Elizabeth voices her reputation as a peaceful queen, “The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow/ Shall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to know.” ...