Mundos Anglófonos en Perspectiva Histórica y Cultural
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Elizabeth I. Speech to the Troops at Tilbury. 1588
My loving people,
We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. 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, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood even, in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; 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. I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you in the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.
This is a speech to the Troops at Tilbury delivered by Queen Elizabeth I of England. It is a political and historical-narrative text.
This famous speech was given in 1588 as England prepared for an invasion by King Philip of Spain and his powerful Armada. In the sixteenth century, England experienced a cultural efflorescence and acquired a clear modern national identity. Part of that identity - insular and Protestant - was formed in conflict with Spain, the leading Catholic power of the day. A defining moment occurred with the attack of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Victory for the English was in no way certain, but the expected invasion was averted when an unexpected and powerful wind blew the Armada away from the English shores.
Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) was Queen regnant of England and Queen regnant of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed two and a half years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, bequeathed the crown to Lady Jane Grey, cutting his sisters out of the succession. His will was set aside, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded the Catholic Mary I, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.
The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated her name forever with what is popularly viewed as one of the greatest victories in English history. Within 20 years of her death, she was celebrated as the ruler of a golden age, an image that retains its hold on the English people.
This speech was addressed to the land forces earlier assembled at Tilbury in Essex in preparation of repelling the expected invasion by the Spanish Armada.
We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear
and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or...