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“I freeze and yet am burned”

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Last night we saw Elizabeth. The two photos are shorthand for the plot.

Cate Blanchett is Elizabeth. That is her power as an actor.

The real Elizabeth described her stifled passion in a beautiful, strange poem she wrote in 1582 –

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute yet inwardly do prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned,
Since from myself my other self I turned. . .

By 1588, when she faces the overwhelming violence of the Spanish Empire bent on crushing England, Elizabeth knows who she loves - the English people - and rides out to defend them with her life. She has become "the servant king".


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