Marie Antoinette The Wicked Queen

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“Let them eat cake,” is part of a line that many assume was uttered by Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. This portrayal of Marie Antoinette is a far cry from the compassionate, humanitarian she preferred to be. Above all she wanted nothing more than to be a mother and had a fondness for children that no wicked queen could have. Pamphlets produced during her time as Dauphine and then as Queen has ultimately written her in a negative light, not at all the once beloved girl who had won the hearts of the French people. Contemporary public opinion expressed through propaganda has skewed the historical perspective on Marie Antoinette. Scapegoated and demonized, Marie Antoinette was not the wicked queen she has been portrayed as.

The future queen
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The authors of these sources used poems, verses, and images to attack individuals such as Marie Antoinette. Material published with her in mind initially began by transforming her into something animal-like, describing her as a tigress or a hyena, plotting the deaths of the French people. They progressed into turning her into the supernatural and the mythical, comparing her to ancient wicked women such as Agrippina as well as the mythical monster known as the harpy. This was intended to dehumanize Marie Antoinette and give a symbol for the Revolution to rally against. In the same strand of thought, the event that became known as the Diamond Necklace affair was designed entirely to leave the Queen in a scandal that she could not recover from. Even when proven innocent it was fodder for her enemies to use in the coming years. There was no possible way for the monarchy and the government to recover her public image after this event. Marie Antoinette’s unpopularity had become so extreme by 1786 that her public appearances ceased almost entirely due to fear for her safety. Journalists of the Revolution succeeded in wiping any memory of the real woman away and replaced her with a monstrous, foreign queen whose primary intent was the destruction of

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