This speech is a historical-narrative text that QueenElizabeth I made to the troops on August 2s1 , 1588 in Tilbury.
With this speech, Elizabeth Iwanted to give them strength and support for the attack of the Spanish army,led by the king of Spain, Felipe II, a battle that lasted 9 dayss2 .Elizabeth I,also known as the Virgin Queen, was the queen of England and Ireland fromNovember 17, 1558 until the day of her death, on March 24, 1603. She was thedaughter of King Henry VII and Anne Boleyn, who was executed when Elizabeth wasonly 3 years old, being thus declared an illegitimate daughter.
But yearslater, after the death of her brothers Eduardo VI and Maria I, Elizabeth was crowneds3 .Back to the speech, the origin of that conflict was 30years earlier, when Queen Elizabeth I succeeded her step-sister Maria in 1558,who reigned England, since she died without children. When Maria I was stillqueen, she was married to Felipe II, king of Naples, who later became king ofSpain. Both were Catholics and tried hard to reimplant Catholicism. Felipe hadbeen co-monarch of England until the death of Maria, who recognized her sisterElizabeth as heiress to the throne.
Felipe did not agree with Elizabeth on the throne,since he was Protestant and did not consider her the legitimate ruler ofEngland. He had hope that Elizabeth’s Catholic cousin, Mary Stuart, wouldsucceed her, but in 1587 Elizabeth executed it.Elizabeth, while she was promoting Protestantism, shealso supported the revolt of the Protestants of Holland against Spain, formingan alliance with them and sending troops to help them.Because of these events, Felipe decided to invadeEngland, with the support of Pope Sixtus V of England and with the help of thetroops of the Duke of Parma, who was his commander from Holland. This decisionhad the objective of restoring Catholicism.Felipe had a large fleet of 130 ships full ofsoldiers, which he called the Invincible Armada, and he was absolutely surethat they could defeat the English. When they reached the English Channel, theycould see that the English had fewer ships, and that made them feel morerelaxed and secure, but what they did not know was that some English sailorshad built new and better boats, which had innovations that made easier andeffective to fight in the sea.
Instead of having many soldiers, they had a lotof small but powerful cannons, which was what destroyed most of the ships ofthe Spanish Navy.On July 12, 1588 was the day Felipe’s troops sailed tojoin the troops of the Duke of Parma, and then attack England starting on thecoast. But an unexpected storm, destroyed Felipe’s plans and damaged a largepart of the fleet. That helped the British army to defeat them and they wereforced to retreat. Only a little more than the half of the fleet of the SpanishNavy, 67 ships, managed to survive and reach Spain.The English army were still on alert, although theSpanish army was heavily damaged, since they could receive new threats tocontinue with the invasion attempt.
So, the count of Leicester city decided tosend 4,000 soldiers to Tilbury, in Essex, with the intention of protecting themouth of the Thames. Elizabeth also went there to check that everything was inorder and give her speech, which was addressed to her entire nation and to thesoldiers, to give them strength and support. Finally, the Spanish Navy did notattack again. Speech analysis In the speech we can observe the love and loyalty shehas towards her people, so her nation could see her as their leader and haverespect and love for her.
This can be observed throughout the speech, butespecially in the first part.In this part she also mentions the Spaniards,referring to them as traitors, but she focuses more on showing the faith, trustand loyalty that she feels from part of her army, and that is why she has takenthe trouble to come there to give the speech by herself and not another person.She wants to prove to the warriors that she hasstrength and power, and although she looks like a weak woman, she has the heartof a king, of a king of England, and she can face any king who intends toinvade her territory, like Spain or any other country of Europe. She herselfwould go to the battlefield to defend her nation, and she also encourage hersoldiers to think and do the same than her, and for that they will have areward.