Directed by Shekhar Kapur

Scene 1: The Stage [Scene runs from 20-19 to 22-09; for those with DVDs, it occurs at the beginning of chapter 5.]

In the first scenes of the movie we are introduced to Elizabeth during the final days of the reign of her sister Queen Mary, and to the animus of the Catholics in England to the Protestant Elizabeth's inheriting the throne. Walsingham is a "friend" of the Protestants, of Elizabeth, who is away in France during the reign of the Catholic queen Mary. In our first scene, the boy with him has been charged by the Catholics, specifically Norfolk, with carrying out his assassination.

Scene: Walsingham's apartment in France

There is so little beauty in this world, and so much suffering. Do you suppose that is what God had in mind? That is to say if there is a God at all. Perhaps there is nothing in this universe but ourselves, and our thoughts.

Boy holds knife to Walsingham's throat.
Think before you do this. If you must do it, then do it now, and without regret. But first think carefully. And be certain why it needs to be done.

Boy gives knife to Walsingham.
Look out there. There is a whole world waiting for you. Innocence is the most precious thing you possess. Lose that and you lose your soul.

Scene 2: After the Coronation [Scene runs from 30:49 to 31:52; for those with DVDs, it begins four and a half minutes into chapter 6.]

Mary has died, and Elizabeth has just been crowned Queen.

Sir Walter: Your majesty should know you have inherited at most powerless and degenerate state. It's threatened from abroad by the ambitions of France and Spain and is weaker in strength, in men, monies and riches than I have ever known it.

Elizabeth: What are you saying?

Advisor: Madam, your treasury is empty, the navy is run down, there is no standing army and we are bare of munitions. There is not a fortress left in England that could withstand a single shot.

Elizabeth: I have no desire to go to war, sir.

Sir Walter: But that is not the end of it. Apart from abroad, here at home there are those who wish Your Majesty ill. Mary of Scots has already laid claim to your throne. And Norfolk, Norfolk covets it relentlessly. Madam, until you marry and produce an heir, you will find no security.

Scene 3: Elizabeth's Council [Scene runs from 40:36 to 43:22. For those with DVDs, it begins three and a half minutes into chapter 8.]

In this scene, Elizabeth faces her first challenge with the affairs of state. Mary of Guise is the representative of France in French-occupied Scotland. This scene begins with Norfolk approaching Elizabeth's sleeping quarters.

Counselor: Your Grace, her majesty has not yet risen.

Attendant: Your Grace, please, her majesty is not ready to receive visitors.

Norfolk, throwing aside the curtains hanging on Elizabeth's bed:
Madam. You had best get up. There is some grave news.

Elizabeth, somewhat disheveled and hesitant, sits at the council table.
Norfolk: Mary of Guise has increased the French garrison in Scotland by four thousand men.

Counselor: Perhaps more.

Sir Walter: I'm afraid the French mean to attack while we are still weak and while your Majesty's reign is still uncertain.

Elizabeth: What is your counsel?

Norfolk: We must with all haste raise an army to march on Scotland.

Elizabeth: Can, can, can we not send emissaries?

Norfolk: There is no time for that. As Queen, we look to you for action. Unless you are content to wait for the French to send more reinforcements.

Elizabeth: Are you all in agreement?

Counselor: I say there has never been a better time or occasion to abate the French pride.

Counselor 2: War is a sin, but sometimes a necessary one.

Norfolk: Lord Robert, you were appointed to the Council to protect the interests of England. Now it appears you do not have the stomach for it.

Lord Robert: I am in agreement, your Grace, if your Majesty's throne is at risk.

Elizabeth: What say you, Walsingham?

Counselor: Your Majesty!

Walsingham: I say a Prince should be slow to take action. And should watch that he does not come to be afraid of his own shadow.

Sir Walter: Madam, Madam, your permission. You are not Sir Francis, a member of Council. Nor are you in the majority.

Elizabeth: I do not like wars, they have uncertain outcomes.

Scene 4: War's Outcome [Scene runs from 46:56 to 49:20; for those with DVDs, it occurs two and a half minutes into chapter 9.]

The English troops sent to fight the French were brutally defeated. Elizabeth is informed of the news, and flees to be alone. We see her crying before the picture of her father, King Henry VIII. Walsingham dares to approach her.

Elizabeth: Where are my counselors?

Attendant: I don't know, Madam.

Elizabeth: Where is Lord Robert?

Attendant: Lord Robert, Madam, is hunting.

Elizabeth: Leave me.

Voice over: I regret to inform your Majesty of our miserable defeat in Scotland. The Bishops do demand your Majesty's removal. They find support in every quarter. Alas, Madam, we are come already to catastrophe.

Elizabeth: How dare you come into my presence? Why do you follow me here?

Walsingham: It is my business to protect your Majesty, against all things.

Elizabeth: I do not need protection. I need to be left alone.

Walsingham: Majesty.

Elizabeth: They should never have been sent to Scotland. My father would not have made such a mistake. I've been proved unfit to rule. Well, that is what you all think. Is it not, Walsingham?

Walsingham: It is not for me to judge you.

Elizabeth: Why did they send such children, why did they not send proper reinforcements?

Walsingham: Because the Bishops would not let them, they spoke against it in the pulpits.

Elizabeth: Then they are speaking against their Queen.

Walsingham: Madam, the Bishops are against you and have no fear of you. They do not expect you to survive.

Scene 5: Princes and their Counselors [This scene runs from to 1:32:14 to 1:38:34. For those with DVDs, it occurs four minutes into chapter 15 and goes into chapter 16. You might break it at 1:34:29 for discussion purposes.]

Lord Robert has been approached by the ambassador from Spain to encourage Elizabeth to accept an offer of marriage from the Spanish king. He sees this as a way to continue his relationship with her.

Lord Robert: Your majesty. May I speak with you? In private.

Elizabeth: Speak.

Lord Robert: You are in the greatest danger. You must believe me. But you have a friend, someone who can guarantee your safety, and your throne.

Elizabeth: A friend?

Lord Robert: The King of Spain.

Elizabeth. To her ladies, Leave us. To Lord Robert, How would he guarantee it?

Lord Robert: He would marry you. But only to make an alliance, nothing more. He would not expect ... He would live in Spain.

Elizabeth: Why do you do this, Robert?

Lord Robert: Because I love you. And although you will not see me, I am the only one who cares for you.

Elizabeth: You love me so much, you would have me be your whore.

Lord Robert: For God's sake, I did this for us. I ask you to preserve a part of us.

Elizabeth: Lord Robert, you may make whores of my ladies, but you shall not make one of me.

Lord Robert: Your majesty. He bows and takes his leave.

[continued, begins at 1:34:29] Walsingham has visited Elizabeth's enemy, Mary of Guise, who leads the French forces in Scotland, ostensibly to negotiate a marriage between Elizabeth and Mary's nephew, the French Duke of Anjou. Walsingham pretends that he is interested in betraying Elizabeth, gains Mary's confidence, seduces and assassinates her. In the next scene, Elizabeth is faced with Walsingham's deed.

Scene: In Scotland.

Duke of Anjou, finding the body of Mary of Guise:
Elizabeth is a witch. And her servant is the Devil!

Scene: In England. [at 1:34:59]

Elizabeth: Of course I shall deny it.

Sir Walter: But your majesty must publicly dissociate herself from this most bloody act.

Elizabeth: I never ordered it.

Sir Walter: Of course, Madam. Of course. You must also make conciliatory gestures towards the Spanish. Your dependence on their good will is even greater than ever. I really must insist--

Elizabeth: The word must is not used to Princes [Camera shows Sir Walsingham overhearing the exchange.]. I have followed your advice in all the affairs of my kingdom. But your policies would make England nothing but either part of France or Spain. From this moment, I am going to follow my own opinion and see if I do any better.

Sir Walter: Forgive me, Madam, but you are only a woman.

Elizabeth: I may be a woman, Sir Walter, but if I choose, I have the heart of a man. I am my father's daughter. I am not afraid of anything.

Sir Walter: I deeply regret Madam, if I have caused you such offense. But, god knows, all my advice has ever been to secure your Majesty's throne.

Elizabeth: And I am grateful for it. I have decided to create you Lord Burghley. So you may enjoy your retirement in greater ease.

Sir Walter: Madam.

Elizabeth: That will be all Lord Burghley.

Sir Walter: Your Majesty. As Sir Walter leaves, Walsingham emerges from the shadows and bows to him.

Walsingham: Madam, if I may. A prince should never flinch from being blamed for acts of ruthlessness which are necessary for safeguarding the state, and their own person. You must not take these things so much to heart that you do not fear to strike even the very nearest that you have, if they be implicated. It has been made known to me there is a priest abroad in the land, carrying letters from Rome to those who mean to harm you. Norfolk's power in Court is growing. It is said that he, and his foreign allies are raising an army that will out number your own. If your majesty does not act soon then he will.

Elizabeth: Find the priest and those who harbor him.

Scene 6: Countering a Conspiracy [The scene runs from 1:42:40 to 1:43:33 and from 1:47:04 to 1:49:10; for those with DVDs, it begins two minutes into chapter 17 and then six and half minutes into chapter 17 and runs into chapter 18.]

Norfolk contemplates his treason. [1:42:40 to 1:43:33]

Norfolk: In the future, when England is safe again and faithful, they will thank me for this act and forget the manner of it. Is it not true? Deliver this most carefully.

The soldiers head out, armed with arrest warrants. They burst into Norfolk's bedroom. [1:47:04 to 1:49:10]

Norfolk: What is the meaning of this?

Walsingham: Your Grace is arrested. You must go with these men to the tower.

Norfolk: I must do nothing by your orders. I am Norfolk.

Walsingham: You were Norfolk, the dead have no titles. [He shows him the paper he just signed, which constitutes evidence of his treason.] You were the most powerful man in England. You could have been greater still, but you had not the courage to be loyal, only the conviction of your own vanity.

Norfolk: I think, Walsingham, a man's courage is in the manner of his death. I am content to die for my beliefs. So cut off my head and make me a martyr, the people will always remember it.

Walsingham: No, they will forget.

Scene: The Tower.

Lord Arundel: Your majesty knows that I did it only for my faith, nothing more.

Elizabeth: All your many kindnesses are remembered. You must not think we care not for your children.

Lady Arundel: Your majesty is merciful and forgiving.

Scene 7: Sparing Lord Robert [Scene runs from 1:49:10 to 1:51:34; for those with DVDs, it begins one minute into chapter 18. ]

Lord Robert sitting at table. Walsingham enters.

Lord Robert: What kept you Walsingham? I've been waiting. [The Queen enters.] Your Majesty.

Elizabeth: They're all gone to the Tower, your friends. Tell me, how should I serve thee, Robert?

Lord Robert: My course is run.

Elizabeth: Just tell me why?

Lord Robert: Why? Madam. Is it not plain enough to you? It is no easy thing to be loved by the Queen. It would corrupt the soul of any man. Oh, for god's sake, kill me.

Elizabeth: No, I think rather to let you live.

Walsingham: Madam, that is not wise. Lord Robert has committed treason. He must be made an example of.

Elizabeth: And I will make an example of him. He shall be kept alive to always remind me of how close I came to danger.

Scene 8: To Reign Supreme [Scene runs from 1:52:22 to 1:53:45; for those with DVDs, it occurs in the last minute and a half of chapter 18.]

Elizabeth: I have rid England of her enemies. What do I do now? Must I be made of stone? Must I be touched by nothing?

Walsingham: Aye, Madam, to reign supreme. All men need something greater than themselves to look up to and worship. They must be able to touch the divine, here on earth.

Elizabeth: [looking at a statue of the Virgin Mary] She had such power over men's hearts. They died for her.

Walsingham: They have found nothing to replace her.

Scene 9: Elizabeth's Marriage to England
[The scene runs from 1:53:46 to 1:58:14; for those with DVDs, it begins a minute and a half into chapter 19 and runs to the end of the film. ]

Elizabeth with her ladies, who cut her hair and help her prepare a white make-up:

Elizabeth: I have become a virgin.

Elizabeth: [appearing in court, in her new appearance, addressing Lord Burghley as she passes him]: Observe, Lord Burghley, I am married -- to England.

Elizabeth Questions

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