Keep in mind that these writing assignments are meant to prepare you for your essay. When you are comparing two texts, you should start by highlighting their similarities as a grounds for further comparison. In this case, both Elizabeth I and Shakespeare are writers in Renaissance England. Both have a flair for the dramatic, but Elizabeths speech is a real life situation in which she is the rightful ruler and her troops are about to fight. Shakespeares speech is a fictional representation meant to entertain from the stage, and also meant to encourage the same kind of enthusiasm and patriotism as Elizabeths speech. In that respect, they share the same rhetorical goals, so lets look at them more closely.
This assignment is based on your own analysis of Queen Elizabeth I’s “Speech to the Troops at Tilbury” url: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1588elizabeth.asp
and William Shakespeare’s “St. Crispin Day Speech.”
Please go through the lecture materials for contextual information that will be helpful, but base your answers on your own reading of these texts.
Answer the following question separately:
1. How does Elizabeth convey an impression of sincerity?
2. There was a recognized difference between the person of the King and the office of the King. (To put this in modern terms, think of the difference between Barack Obama as a private individual and in the office of the President.) How does Elizabeth exploit this difference to her advantage?
3. Which masculine terms does Elizabeth use to present herself?
4. Which feminine qualities does she admit to?
5. On which basis does Elizabeth claim the authority to rule?
6. Why does Elizabeth switch from our to my?
7. How does Shakespeares speaker, Henry V, convey the important notion that loyalty is to be valued above all else?
8. Unlike Elizabeth, Henry V does not claim that he stands in solidarity with all of England. Instead, he suggests that those who will fight on St. Crispins Day are better than anyone else. How does he paint this picture of superiority?
9. What kinds of masculine images (things we might associate more particularly with men than with women) does Henry V include to pump up his men?
10. In a few sentences, evaluate some of the main differences between the two speeches that you have just analyzed.
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