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Queen Elizabeth I: Representations of the Virgin Queen

  • John N. King (a1)
Extract

It is commonly acknowledged that although Elizabeth I vowed herself to a life of perpetual virginity, she entered into a symbolic marriage with England as her husband. In this way she could receive the" adulation of her subjects as the universal object of a Petrarchan religion of love, one that pervaded ballads, pageants, and dramatic entertainments. Scholars claim that she was able to convert her unprecedented weakness as a celibate queen into a powerful propagandistic claim that she sacrificed personal interests in the name of public service.

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Renaissance Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0034-4338
  • EISSN: 1935-0236
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