Marie Antoinette's Downfall

Topics: Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI of France, Louis XVIII of France Pages: 7 (2666 words) Published: December 5, 2012
START: Marie Antoinette was quickly appreciated and even admired at the court. She was a beautiful young lady who enjoyed the party-filled life of Versailles. The frivolous, high-spirited tomboy who arrived at Versailles at age 14 was quickly embraced by her subjects. Yet by the time of her execution 23 years later, she was reviled. Marie Antoinette was actually extremely popular with the people when she arrived in France.  They liked how she looked, how kind she was and the charities she pursued. When she visited the opera and insist everyone applaud, the did so (a moment shown in the movie).  She was on display for everyone to see and people watched her and wrote numerous accounts of her grace, her charm, her beauty. Marie Antoinette did initially have the love of the French people, but eventually the glitz, glamor, and charm of Marie Antoinette wore off and the beautiful young woman became a person of hate to the French people.  What happened to make the people of France hate Marie Antoinette?  Why did she lose her popularity and become public enemy number one?  Why did she eventually lose her life through the guillotine? 

MARRIAGE: This marriage joined two individuals with different ambitions and personality. The palace was a lone place for Antoinette (Fraser, 2001). Louis left Antoinette in the palace alone and she could do what she wanted. Apparently, she began spending colossal sums of money as a way of amusement on unnecessary things and luxuries. She went on gambling with the money losing millions in a game. Being left alone in the palace may have prompted her into compulsive shopping and spending. However, it can be perceived otherwise when her mother claims that Antoinette was not doing anything useful at Versailles.  We could easily tell that this was the nature of Antoinette's character and personality. She only lacked the opportunity so to speak; thus be termed as a self-absorbed spendthrift. Marie Antoinette was lonely and heartbroken.  She had to endure the strict French court rituals and protocol, people talking behind her back, and a husband who did not want to consummate their marriage.  She was so pretty and sweet, but did not feel confident or comfortable around the royal family.  People in the royal family such as the Mesdames, the sisters of the King of France constantly talked behind her back and tried to use her in schemes and Marie Antoinette had a poor relationship with the king's favorite and mistress, Madame du Barry.  Life was not happy for the Dauphine of France.

Marie Antoinette was lonely due the lack of affection by her husband, the protocol of the strict court, and people taking behind her back.  She was constantly being reprimanded in letters by her mother who wanted her to consummate the marriage and warning her that her home country's happiness and success depended on Marie Antoinette's new life in her married country.  As a result, Marie Antoinette began to spend and live lavishly.  She became the center of fashion in France with extravagant gowns and hairstyles, gambled excessively, and threw expensive parties.  Gambling was not an uncommon way to pass the time.  Marie Antoinette built up her own circle of friends who would spend nights gambling and talking and certainly drinking.  Louis XVI was not very into this kind of lifestyle, but that didn’t mean that he did not spend money.  Everyone who lived in the palace at Versailles spent what we would all consider an exorbitant amount of money on clothes.   However, her relationship with her husband was the subject of much sarcasm. The couple didn't have any children and the people of Paris found this suspicious.

Partying and money are shown as the only salvation for the circumstances befalling Antoinette. With partying and spending Antoinette is able to deal with her emotional difficulties. All the same, it worked to her disadvantage. Her name has been tarnished the more. All cannot be blamed on her but her...
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