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Queen Elizabeth I's Speech to the Troops at Tilbury
Transcript of Queen Elizabeth I's Speech to the Troops at Tilbury
Queen Elizabeth I
August 19, 1588
She delivered it to the land forces assembled at Tilbury in Essex in order to prepare them for the expected invasion of the Spanish Armada.
Left her bodyguard and was escorted by 6 men to give the speech. She was dressed in white with a silver cuirass and mounted on a grey gelding.
Land forces in Essex
Purpose and Subject
Inspire, lead, and motivate army to victory.
Establish herself as queen of England.
Victory over the enemies.
Her duty as a queen.
Key Rhetorical Devices
live and die amongst you all;
obedience to my general,
concord in the camp, and
valour in the field..."
will take up arms,
will be your general..."
"Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself..."
"I know I have the body of a week and feeble woman..."
"... to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me..."
"I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects..."
"...and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved... To live and die amongst you all..."
"... I have the heart and stomach of a king... I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general..."
“be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.”
“rewards and crowns…shall be duly paid”
Repetition of same word or words at the beginnings of successive clauses.
Inversion of natural word order, often with the purpose of surprising the reader, gaining attention, or emphasizing words.
How the speaker establishes credibility
How the speaker stirs pride in the audience
Explanations, reasons, logic, and facts
"...for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust."
"...but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too..."
"...and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field."
"...we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people."
I am one of you
Hopeful and motivated
Queen Elizabeth l used logos to boost the troops' morale and their trust in her as their protector.
Her pattern of logic and reasoning appealed to three main concerns: religious, national, and personal.
In reference to the religious conflict inside and outside of the country, Queen Elizabeth exhorts them to fight for "[their] God".
They should also fight "for [their] kingdom", because if they do If they will "shortly have victory over those enemies".
Instead of fearing those who threaten them, those "tyrants [should] fear", because she is just as devoted to protecting her realm as they are. Reminding them of their own "forwardness [from which] they deserved rewards and crowns" to inspire them to work hard to get what they undoubtedly deserved.
The real queen