To what extent was the film Elizabeth an accurate and faithful account of the main events of Elizabeth's reign? How useful is the medium of film in helping people to understand events of the past?

Essay by killerqueenHigh School, 12th gradeA, August 2004

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The film Elizabeth is ambiguous unto whether or not it was faithful. Generally, the outline of the film is correct, but certain factors have been modified and some created to create more drama and interest. However, there are many historical inaccuracies; this is for dramatical purposes, making the film valuable to those who wish to view it for entertainment purposes, rather than educational. Whilst the film gives an outline of events, it cannot be relied on for factuality. Nevertheless, it provides insight into the lifestyle she led; we see how the people of the time dressed and how Elizabeth lived. Three events that have been distorted are the relationship between Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, the characterization of Elizabeth and the violent settings of the film.

In the film Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Robert Dudley's affair was misrepresented. Many key events in the relationship were omitted. Elizabeth was shown to be outraged when she discovered Dudley was married.

In fact, she was present when Dudley wed Amy Robsart in 1550. Although she become infuriated when Dudley married Lettice Knowles 20 years later. We are led to believe the two became involved shortly before Elizabeth's imprisonment for treason in 1554. However, Dudley had been in jail since 1553 over his involvement in a coup led by his father, the tyrant Northumberland, intending to oust Mary and Elizabeth for of Lady Jane Gray. The first evidence of their involvement was in a dispatch from deFeria to King Phillip dated April 1559:

"During the last few days...Lord Robert has come into favour so much he

does what he likes with his affairs. Her Majesty visits his chamber day and

night...People say [Elizabeth] is waiting for [Amy] to die so they can wed"

This contradicts her self-imposed image as the 'Virgin Queen', a reputation she was...