Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth In Honor of that High

Poetry is one of the most important mediums for a poet to express his or her thoughts to an audience. The subject of the poem, on the other hand, is determined by the intended audience and the context in which the poem is composed. A single poem may have a variety of impacts on its readers or audience. The paper discusses Anne Bradstreet’s poem “In Honour of the High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth.” The paper investigates the readers’ initial reflections, the social context in which the poem was composed, and the observations that can be obtained from the writers’ biography. Also, the paper examines how the author’s works explore a theme, of humanism and the relevance of this works to the world today. Finally, the paper offers the analyses of how the work has impacted on the perception of the reader.

Renaissance is a phrase that means ‘rebirth.’ The period was marked by the resurgence of tremendous values during the Classical Era, including rationalism and rationalism. Humanism, a theme that was drawn following the Classical Period, came into action with the scientific and artistic endeavors of that of the Renaissance. Similar to the ancient Romans and Greeks, the Europeans at this particular time were more focused to discover the human form and to represent human qualities in all planes of life.

Initial Thoughts

The initial thought that comes to my mind is the greatness of the queen being praised here. The thoughts of mighty, excellence and most powerful queen comes in my mind along the creative verse of the poem. Additionally, I realize that the poem has broken a long-held norm. The thoughts of earlier stages before Renaissance struck me while going through the poem. As such coming across this work motivated me to read and establish what is its content and to whom it was written.

Aspect(s) of Interest

In her poem “In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth”, Anne Bradstreet expresses all that happened to the rule of Queen Elizabeth and creates her up as a grand matriarch of the state of England, once asserting ‘more infamy than the fame she did procure.’ The poem could apparently show the style of one type of a Mistress Bradstreet, the socialist. The theme of humanism is best applied as it is tracked back to the time of renaissance. It is during this period that there was witnessing the sprout of the literature, the classical revival art, learning, philosophy, and architecture. Renaissance sprawled the renewed kind of study of the great works of the ancient Greco Roman civilization, and also, the period that produced among the finest artistic and the achievements of some of the intellectuals like Queen Elizabeth. In this poem, the poet celebrates the excellence of the late Queen Elizabeth. The author is keen to note that many people still bring gifts and honors in honor of her. Using several congratulatory verses, the writer hopes that the queen will be pleased. The author at this particular time was more focused to discover the human form and to represent human qualities in all planes of life through Queen Elizabeth.

Historical Context

The poem was written in the year 1643 four decades after the death of Queen Elizabeth who many regarded as a virgin queen. The above is because the queen never married. The time of writing this poem coincides with the Renaissance period. This is a period marked with rebirth of both scientific knowledge and social knowledge (Jordan, 2010). It is within this context that the poet chose to communicate her feminist ideas evident in the praises she hips to the departed queen. It is important to note that during this time, the female consciousness for the first time begun articulating the contributions of the women towards the world civilization. The civilization was in various life aspects such as science, literature, governance, art wars and music (Howard, 2011). To articulate their feminist ideas, the feminist used poetry, biographies, histories, and romances among others. It is within this context that the poem praising the prowess of Queen Elizabeth was written. Perhaps this was in response to the feminist consciousness that sprung during the Renaissance.

Insights into the Work

From the authors Biograph several insights can be gained. It is important to note that the author comes from rich family and is a mother of the eighth (Howard, 2011). As such even as he writes she recognizes women in her role as a woman, and the struggles in the suffering of life coupled with her Puritan faith. It is against this background that she notes that Queen Elizabeth never married and yet was able to surpass the leadership of not only fellow women leaders but also those of men. Additionally, from the biography, it emerges out that Queen Elizabeth was the last monarch in the Tudor dynasty and that she was the founder of the Church of England. Even with her feminine features, she was able to have a successful foreign policy and defeat the Spanish Armada. As a woman writer, the poet is clear to tell men that women can do more just like the queen did. However, she is keen to put it on that woman of such type are very rare. However, it is worth noting that the poet was not advocating for equality between men and women at this time but was only telling men than women can do better than men as the queen did.

Exploration of a Particular Theme

The work explores the theme of the role of humanism. In writing this poem, the writer explains into great depths all that happens during the reign of the virgin queen and portrays her to the audience as a great matriarch who lived in England (Bradstreet & Macelrath, 2001). While this portrays the queen as a popular leader, to men the queen was a threat. The author notes that “Her Drake came laden home with Spanish gold; her Essex took Cadiz, their Herculean hold” (Bradstreet 1967). In this context, it is clear that while many believe that a powerful woman is a threat, in reality, the same men never did anything to make the queen happy. This is a sign of how women can be strong a fulfilling’s to the needs of others without necessarily receiving the same favor back. It is through the theme of humanism that the author gained the courage to tell all that was not told.

Giving women a chance to rule opens up space for several disputes. This is a long-held tradition that many people have to believe that women cannot adequately rule and control a community (Bradstreet & Macelrath, 2001). However, in reality, women have the ability to ruling than men. The above is evident in the manner in which men brought gold and captured beautiful cities for Queen Elizabeth while she simply ruled as a queen. In a way, the poet contends that women can hold leadership positions and that it is high time that women stood to claim their positions. The period of Renaissance is what brought this humanitarian aspect that made several artists to discover themselves and also the contributions of others.

Relevance of the Work

The work is essential since it helps to understand the period of Renaissance that was marked by the resurgence of tremendous values during the Classical Era, including rationalism and rationalism. The theme of humanism was drawn following the Classical Period, and it is through that era we get the author came into action with the scientific and artistic endeavors of that of the Renaissance. The contributions of Queen Elizabeth are brought into limelight as it points that she was the last monarch in the Tudor dynasty and that she was the founder of the Church of England. Humanism aspect is what helps in illustrating all her achievements through the poem.

Effect of Analysis on Perception

The analysis of this work has changed my ideas about the theme of humanism in history. The period of Renaissance was an existing one since it was time for exploration which transformed Europe and led to the coming up of the artistic production. The writers such as Mistress Bradstreet where able to gain the exposure and be able to bring into the light the strong people like Queen Elizabeth.


Bradstreet, a (1967). “In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory”. The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Traditions in English. 3rd. Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Bradstreet, A., & Macelrath, J. R. (1981). The Complete Works of Anne Bradstreet. Boston: Twayne Publishers.

Howard, J. E. (2000). Was There a Renaissance Feminism? How to go to your page, 492.

Jordan, C. (1990). Renaissance feminism: literary texts and political models. Cornell University Press.

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