Queen Elizabeth Rhetorical Analysis of Tilbury Speech
Queen Elizabeth’s speech invigorated the troops and ensured her faith in them and her capability as a leader through the use of repetition, juxtaposition, persuasion, amplification and diction. In the beginning sentence Elizabeth includes herself in the fight by using “we” thereby establishing a common ground with the troops. She uses emotional argument to instill a sense of nationalism. Elizabeth repeatedly refers to her people affectionately with phrases like “my loving people” (line 1) or “my faithful and loving people” (line 5).
By complementing the soldiers, asserting nationalism, and giving them a purpose, she inspires them to proudly defend England. Queen Elizabeth reference’s God and country throughout the speech, evoking a strong sense of English patriotism through the use of repetition.
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The Queen juxtaposes her “weak and feeble” (line 14) form as a woman, to her strong spirit and bravery, likened to that of a king of England, thus further appealing to the audience’s nationalism. She elevates her status above the oppressing sexism of the times, she suggests that she is as capable of success as any shrewd, hard-stomached king.
When speaking of the defense of the county, the Queen proposes that she herself will fight amongst them, Elizabeth repeats “myself” as amplification of her dedication to her country. Elizabeth places her full trust in her people, denouncing any thought of distrust. Her unwavering trust is a reassurance to her people. She does not feel the need to control and regulate her subjects for fear of rebellion, she gives them the power to defend and protect the homeland. Her people respect her for this and remain loyal to her. The final persuasion is promise of “rewards and crowns” (line 21) for those concerned with monetary and influential matters.
The Queen promises to reward for valour and virtue on the battlefield. The repetition of “your” in the closing sentence serves as an appraisal and importance of the troops. Elizabeth uses the value of trust, nationalism, faith, relation, and material reward as a means to convince her troops to defend their homeland. By assimilating herself as their equal and asserting her willingness to give everything for her country, she makes the idea of dying in battle more comfortable to the soldiers. She gives them a cause, and they rise to the occasion.