Queen Elizabeth I and Virginia Stephen-Woolf

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There are two women from the near and distant past that have become strong female role models in recent years: Queen Elizabeth I and Virginia Woolf. These women were not without problems while growing up, though. Elizabeth’s mother was beheaded after being charged with treason when she was only three; she grew up viewing women as indispensable after her father had six wives; her family kept dying (mother, step mother, father, half brother, sister), and she was locked away by her sister Queen Mary in the Tower of London for a number of years. Virginia Woolf on the other hand battled with depression and mental disease her whole life, was denied a typical education because she was female, had many mental breakdowns after death of mother, and was institutionalized after father’s death. Both Elizabeth Tudor and Virginia Stephen-Woolf shared many of the same family problems in their lives, but their life paths and careers were drastically different from one another.

Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth I had many of the same problems within their families. Before Elizabeth Tudor became the Queen of England, she had a series of unfortunate family events fall upon her. First, when she was only three years old, her mother Anne Boleyn was wrongly beheaded for treason by her husband King Henry VIII. After that, King Henry remarried a number of times and finally settled down with Catherine Parr. Henry’s third wife also produced him a son named Edward. After Elizabeth’s father passed away in 1547, Catherine became Queen of England. Shortly after Henry, Catherine died, which passed the throne to Elizabeth’s half-brother Edward. Edward died in 1553 at age fifteen, leaving the crown to his half-sister Mary Tudor. Five years later Mary died, and Elizab...

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... was seen as a headstrong and opinionated individual; while Virginia is quoted as always need confirmation and approval in her actions. Even though very similar, their differences are what set them apart as individuals.

It is obvious that the similarities between Queen Elizabeth I and Virginia Woolf outweigh the differences. Both were learners and thinkers, advocates for they believed in and strong women despite all of the issues that had happened during their short lives. It is important to recognize the similarities between these women, for the traits of bravery, persistence, and wisdom are what make brilliant role models for people throughout time. By pointing out the similarities and differences between these two women, it is easy to see examples of what people in modern times should follow: advocacy for what one believes in and triumphs over life’s dilemmas.

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