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Marie Antoinette was a Victim of French Society - Research Paper Example

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Marie Antoinette as a Victim of the French Society Name Name of Professor Introduction Marie Antoinette was portrayed in numerous literary and factual accounts as a model of ‘immoral femininity’. Feminist scholars have argued that Marie Antoinette’s public defamation in existing narratives, political vulgarity, and in her trial for sedition were an integral piece of a bigger scheme by the extremists in the National Assembly—the Jacobins—to eliminate and dehumanize femininity in the French society (Craciun 2003)…
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Marie Antoinette was a Victim of French Society
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Download file to see previous pages This essay analyzes the claim that Marie Antoinette was a victim of the French society. Female Victimization in Revolutionary France How British women view Marie Antoinette exposes the fact that they know it was the gender of the Queen that was besieged, and that, as contemporary scholars confirm, her prosecution for treason “was staged virtually as a morality play on the evil impact of women on the body politic” (Craciun 2003, 77). The portrayal of Marie Antoinette as a victim has an impact akin to her image as sexual behemoth in the obscene propaganda. As argued by Hunt, Marie Antoinette threatens the male-dominated public domain because she is “the emblem (and sacrificial victim) of the feared disintegration of gender boundaries that accompanied the Revolution” (Goodman 2003, 131). This peril to gender differentiation reached the outer boundaries of France and outside political scholarship. The Queen was the most prominent and remarkable enchantress at the time, likened at the initial phase of her prosecution to several legendary femmes fatales (Craciun 2003, 78): … like Messaline, Brunchant, Fredigonde, and Medicis, who were formerly qualified with the titles of the Queen of France, whose names have ever been odious, and will never be effaced from the pages of history—Marie Antoinette, widow of Louis Capet, has, since here abode in France, been the scourge and the blood sucker of the French… having squandered the finances of France… in a dreadful manner, to satisfy inordinate pleasures, and to pay the agents of her criminal intrigues. The above statement was supported by Pierre Saint-Amand, who stated that “the execution of Marie Antoinette was by no means an affair of state” (Kilgore-Mueller 2008, 74). The Queen’s trial was not conducted in the Convention, but in the revolutionary court. At some point in the prosecution of Citizen Capet, the name of Marie Antoinette had been mentioned to demonstrate that she would be stripped of any privileges after the King’s death. Her case was to be heard in a judicial court just like any other accused for the crime of treason. Her case was to be heard by the jury, not by national legislature (Kilgore-Mueller 2008, 74-75). The revolutionary court would target her personal activities or private life, attacking “the woman in her as much as the queen” (Fraser 2001, 123). As stated by Saint-Amand, the Queen and the woman was a victim of (Goodman 2003, 257): … backlash against the advancement of women in the public sphere, against their increased visibility and competition with men for participation in social institutions. When people denounced Marie Antoinette they also denounced the excessive publicity of aristocratic women… [She] was perceived as the most unbridled symbol of this new representation of women. Marie Antoinette has endlessly been linked to controversy and scandal. Sensational and scandalous propaganda depicted her as sexually voracious and, in 1793, at her trial, she was charged of raping her son. Scholars have associated the controversies about Marie ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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