text is a famous speech delivered by Queen Elizabeth I to the British troops
before the big battle against the Spanish Armada, on 1588. The relationship between Spain and England was not
good. Queen Elizabeth was Protestant, whereas Phillip was Catholic, so it was
only logical that they would not get along. But religion was not the only cause
for the poor relations between the two countries. King Phillip had proposed
years ago to Queen Elizabeth but she refused his proposal and some historians
think this could also be an influencing factor. Moreover, Queen Elizabeth was
allowing the English pirates to raid Spanish boats in exchange for some of the
profits. All of the reasons mentioned above created a growing tension between
the two countries, until war was unavoidable. Still, Queen Elizabeth had hoped
to solve the problems between England and Spain peacefully and, when it came to
war, the British ships weren’t ready. They were at a disadvantage and they were
most likely going to lose the war, so Queen Elizabeth I gave this speech to
encourage the troops before battle.
author of the text was Queen Elithabeth herself. It has many versions and it’s
unsure which one of them is the real one or even if the whole text is actually
true. A few historians doubt its authenticity, but the vast majority accept that
she did write those lines.
speech was addressed to the British soldiers that were about to fight a battle
that was, supposedly, difficult to win.
books say that when she gave the speech she was only escorted by 6 guards, when
usually she had a lot more protection. This was a meaningful gesture, because
in the text Queen Elizabeth says that she trusts her people and her actions
showed it too.
one of the most famous lines of the speech “I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a
king” she acknowledges her physical weakness and, if you read between the lines
she also states that she is both king and queen of the country. Every word she
says sounds really powerful and promises to protect the country against all
Queen Elizabeth levels herself with her people when
she says she will fight with them and die among them if need be. She is saying
that she is not better than them, she thinks of them as equals. The soldiers
were simple people who spent their whole lives fighting for their country for
very little money. Hearing those words coming from the queen must have been
But the Queen later clarifies that she is not
actually going to fight with them, her lieutenant general will lead her army.
She ends the speech with a positive note, giving
hope to the soldiers and assuring them that the victory possible.
In conclusion, the text was written by the Queen of
England in a time her troops needed encouragement. The British army was smaller
and no one believed that victory was possible. With her speech, she sends a
powerful message of union and optimism. At the end of the day, her troops
weren’t as inferior and ended up winning the battle, favoured by the British
my opinion, the speech probably was helpful, Reading it in the present time,
she sounds powerful and convincing, so I can only imagine what must have been
like to hear it from her directly.