Warring Models of Femininity: An Examination of the Iconography and Gender Representation of Mary I and Elizabeth I

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Beatrice Marie Dlesk (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site: http://library.unca.edu/
Alvis Dunn

Abstract: Between 1553 and 1603, England experienced the reign of its first female rulers. Mary Tudor and Elizabeth Tudor were distinct in that they were women occupying traditionally male positions during a time when women were disenfranchised, marginalized, and infantilized. However, Mary I and Elizabeth I’s reigns were remarkably different. The difference between their reigns can be discussed and explained through the contrasts in their gender representation and iconography. The varying portrayals of Mary and Elizabeth during this time exemplify the differences in their political policies, views, and reigns. By using iconography and theories of gender representation, a conclusion can be made about the specific nature of their reigns based on representations through their speeches, accounts of public appearances, and the iconography adopted by the realm as a whole. The difference in the iconography between Mary and Elizabeth points to the adoption of two different models of femininity, namely motherhood and maidenhood, which further shaped the course of their reigns.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
iconography, Elizabeth I, Mary I, gender representation, English monarchs

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