The Importance Of Tudor Longbows

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Tudor longbows were most prevalently featured as the primary projectile weapon of war during the reigns of King Henry VIII because of their success against similarly equipped enemies and their regulatory aspect. Before archery transformed into a source of luxury entertainment for the upper classes, it was a necessary skill demanded by the monarchy to preserve national defenses through a trained civilian army. King Henry VIII even instituted ordinances and parliamentary statutes that required men between the ages of 7 and 60 to achieve a certain level of competence with a longbow, and in doing so to sacrifice entertainments and amusements that would seek to supplant it in importance. Perhaps the daily significance of these statutes is what later …show more content…
Gradually, as the purpose of archery pivoted towards entertainment rather than military defenses, the proliferation of longbows began to decline. This was mainly due to the dissemination of handguns and thicker armor across the European continent, which necessitated a transition to a projectile weapon with a penetration advantage, which handguns afforded. However, firearms were slow to replace longbows because of the high cost of purchasing a firearm as well as the long-standing English fear of arming the lower classes, which created a deficit of firearm training throughout the country. In some ways, Elizabeth and her courtiers were correct in their assumptions about the lower class’s intentions, as they only accepted the transition in light of the weapon’s non-military uses, such as highwayman robbery, poaching, and murder, which prompted Elizabeth to enact increasingly restrictive laws regarding …show more content…
Her reputation as a huntress often led to parallels between the queen and Diana, the virginal Roman goddess of the hunt, an association the queen favored. Although Elizabeth wasn’t a singularity in her pursuit of hunting, since female aristocrats on occasion participated in hunts, there was an inherent link between hunting and masculinity that Elizabeth repressed during her reign, especially in a historically patriarchal country. These gender tensions inhibited Elizabeth from fully exploiting her role as a huntress as a more central component of her political mythology, and she could only halfheartedly employ her connection to Diana for its imperial connotations in order to remain within socially acceptable bounds. For that reason, Elizabeth was rarely associated with Diana in works of art, although a print from the end of her reign by John de Critz is said to have been the basis for a series of subsequent engravings that depict the queen with a crescent moon across her bodice, signifying her symbolic connection to the Diana. In comparison, the majority of art and literature adhered to the traditional representation of the hunt as a metaphor for love, casting a man in the role of hunter and a woman as his prey, thereby creating a sexual adventure that

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