Cue for Treason: Importance of the Hierarchy and Social Status

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In the book Cue for Treason social status and the hierarchy had a great affect on the characters of the story. The book Cue for Treason, written by Geoffrey Trease took place in the Elizabethan Era, a time where your social ranking decided your power and importance. The hierarchy had a great affect on many people included in this book, such as the Queen who was thought as the keystone of peace, Sir Philip who abused his ranking for power, and the lower class that were widely manipulated by higher rankings. Social status certainly had influenced the actions of the characters and the whole plot in general. To start with, the lower class had no great influence in the affairs of the people higher in the hierarchy, and were easily controlled. The people of Cumberland could not openly fight Sir Philip back, since they would be heavily overpowered by Sir Philip‘s men and magistrates. For example, this is showed when they planned a retaliation against Sir Philip for building a wall around their land, and on page 18 when the book said, “Sir Philip could do nothing to the whole village, but if he got proof against one or two individual men, he’d try to get his revenge on them.” This showed that they couldn’t do anything openly due to their lack of power and status. Also, in Sir Philip’s plan people of the lower class, especially old northern families, were planned to be used like pawns. An example of this is showed on page 238 when the book says, “Many of the old county families hated her, and especially in the North, because she stood for the new ways and they for the old. This tells us that these lower class families were great assets to have for Sir Philip‘s plan of going against the Queen. Furthermore, people fully involved in Sir Ph... ... middle of paper ... that the death of the Queen would have triggered all these tragedies. As a result of all these points the hierarchy definitely had a strong influence on peoples lives back then. Social ranking and the hierarchy certainly proved to have a large presence among the people of that time. The frailty of the lower class, the greed of Sir Philip, the importance of her majesty the Queen, all these points do a great job in supporting the strength and affect the hierarchy had on its the people. Although the hierarchy and social ranking did have some negative influence on the people, it did a good job in keeping people in line. Despite the fact there were some major flaws with the hierarchy system back then, like great differences in power between rankings and corruption, it surely did its job of protecting the people from even bigger problems that could have occurred.

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