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The Doubt Of Future Foes By Queen Elizabeth I: The Outraged Thoughts Of A Proud Queen

972 words - 4 pages

One might second guess poetry written by the Queen of England while others might be intrigued by it. During Queen Elizabeth’s challenging reign as Queen, she faced many burdensome obstacles. In her poem, “The Doubt of Future Foes”, she describes a significant one which involved her sister, Mary of Scots. She expresses her condescending and disgusted attitude toward her tenacious sister by using picturesque language. The inspiration for this poem, Mary had been living under her sister’s protection in England after being removed from the Scottish throne. Subsequently, Catholic Scots wished to replace Elizabeth with Mary. Then, Sir Anthony Babington and other Catholics made a plot attempt to place Mary on the English throne, but the plot was shortly unsealed by Elizabeth. Mary was then executed for her awareness of the plot. To retell these series of events, Elizabeth uses figurative language, imagery, and symbolism to reveal her utmost disappointment in Mary.
The Queen uses figurative language, which makes the reader ponder about the more profound meaning and artistic quality of the poem. She uses personification in line 4, “which should not be if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web”. This shows that Elizabeth is trapped in an unavoidable, convoluted situation with no distinct way out. The word, wisdom evokes a sense of wrongness. She would not be stuck in this complex predicament if people used correct judgment instead of attempting to rebel against her. Elizabeth is using alliteration to question her foes. She is really saying: “Why are opponents using poor and reckless judgment and doing the wrong things to solve their problem? Instead of doing this, they should be using common sense and righteous solutions.” Using alliteration and cacophony in line 11, “The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow”, Elizabeth first introduces Mary, the culprit of her distress. She is portrayed as a headstrong woman whose disagreeable nature causes the Queen trouble. The pandemonium she causes is so cataclysmic that Elizabeth has felt as if she has earned the title of “daughter of debate”. Elizabeth also uses alliteration in the phrase, “foresight falsehood finds” (line 10). Here, the sound device adds a sense of reassurance of her thoughts. It also shows her feelings of confidence that whatever one does to attempt to overthrow her, they will not succeed in their endeavors. She has no doubt that if Mary ruled over her kingdom, she would “reap no gain” (line 11) or receive no support from the people because she would not know how to keep England peaceful as a result of her troublesome personality.
Queen Elizabeth uses imagery profusely in her poem. In line 6, the “rain of late repent” sets a gloomy atmosphere for the poem. Elizabeth is pointing out the tears that her enemies will weep when they realize that it is impossible to construct a...

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