Monday, December 26, 2011

Orlando (Film) & Correlation to Queen Elizabeth I

"Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old" Elizabeth I in the film "Orlando"

My last blog called Orlando, Elizabethan Era- "Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old" led me to see correlations that were between Orlando & Elizabeth I.  Queen Elizabeth I was only in the film for about fifteen minutes in the beginning, however the part in the movie was extremely important.  

On her deathbed, Elizabeth promises an androgynous young nobleman named Orlando a large piece of land and a castle built on it, along with a generous monetary gift which she will only bequeath to him if he consents to her command, "Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old."  By following this command, he will keep the land and inheritance forever.  In essence, Elizabeth bestows a long life upon Orlando.

The question that I raise, is why?  Why would Elizabeth I grant this individual such a responsibility, sacrifice and some would say huge advantage?  

As Queen of England, there was major advantages but at the same time, there were disadvantages.  The disadvantages of Elizabeth as the Queen of England: no privacy, had to do what was best for the people in her nation rather then what was best for herself, huge amounts of stress and responsibility, individuals surrounding her of power were all men, her life was in constant jeopardy, etc.

The personality of Elizabeth was complex and yet, very simple.  As Queen, she was the center of attention and that she loved.  I firmly believe she used the center of attention for her own personal advantage but also the advantage for the safety of her realm.  Elizabeth had many suitors from various nations with royal blood who wanted her hand in marriage but nonetheless, she never married or had an heir.  From my research, the true individual she loved and adored was Robert Dudley (Earl of Leicester), but she could not marry him as he was not from royal blood.  By not marrying, she never was never a Wife, a Mother, or had an heir to keep the Tudor Dynasty alive. [this raises a whole other topic, future blog].  

However, most important, she did not want to grow old.  She was afraid of becoming old and withered and that was absolutely something she did not want.

Elizabeth bestows a long life upon Orlando, with the conditions of not fading, not withering, & not growing old.  I'm sure there is some kindness when she bestows this long life with the conditions to Orlando, but in my opinion, it is for her own satisfaction.  

The life that Orlando leads or the life she expects him to lead after Elizabeth dies is the life that she has the desire for.  Elizabeth wants her own privacy, no stress of ruling a kingdom, doing what's best for herself and not for her realm, etc.  

In summary, the two most important desires to Elizabeth: 
she wants to marry someone she loves and not based on what is best for the nation but what's best for her.  
Most Importantly, Elizabeth did not want to grow old.  
After all, the only condition that allowed Orlando this huge gift bestowed upon by Elizabeth was by not fading, not withering. & not growing old.

"Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old"

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