Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Queen Elizabeth I
- [to her army at Tilbury] My loving people. We see the sails of the enemy approaching. We hear the Spanish guns over the water. Soon now, we will meet them face-to-face. I am resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all. While we stand together, no invader shall pass. Let them come with the armies of Hell; they will not pass! And when this day of battle is ended, we meet again in heaven or on the field of victory.
- May we have wisdom not to fear shadows in the night, and courage when the day of danger truly dawns.
King Philip II of Spain
- Elizabeth is darkness. I am light.
Sir Walter Raleigh
- Why be afraid of tomorrow when today is all we have?
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots
- [to her accusers] You know neither who you are, nor what you do. But I know who I am; and if I die, it shall be as I have lived — as a Queen — trusting in the mercy of God, my holy father.
- Queen Elizabeth I: Go back to your rathole! Tell Philip I fear neither him, nor his priests, nor his armies. Tell him if he wants to shake his little fist at us, we're ready to give him such a bite he'll wish he'd kept his hands in his pockets!
- Spanish Minister: You see a leaf fall, and you think you know which way the wind blows. Well, there is a wind coming, Madame, that will sweep away your pride. [turns to leave with his ministers]
- Queen Elizabeth I: I, too, can command the wind, sir! I have a hurricane in me that will strip Spain bare when you dare to try me!
- Queen Elizabeth I: How many Catholics are there in England, sir?
- Cabinet Minister #1: Immense numbers, Majesty.
- Cabinet Minister #2: Half the nation cling to the old superstitions.
- Queen Elizabeth I: What would you have me do? Hang half the people in England, or just imprison them?
- Cabinet Minister #2: We must act, Majesty! Our inaction is perceived as weakness!
- Queen Elizabeth I: If my people break the law, they shall be punished. Until that day, they shall be protected.
- Cabinet Minister #1: Majesty, we have proven reason to fear every Catholic in the—
- Queen Elizabeth I: Fear creates fear. I am not ignorant of the dangers, sir. But I will not punish my people for their beliefs. Only for their deeds. I am assured that the people of England love their Queen. My constant endeavor is to earn that love.
- Queen Elizabeth I: Are you here to tell me I must murder a Queen?
- Sir Walter Raleigh: I would never presume to tell my Queen what to do. Only you know where your duty lies.
- Queen Elizabeth I: Was it my father's duty to murder my mother? She was a Queen, for a time. Oh, I would be loath to die so bloody a death.
- Sir Walter Raleigh: Since when were you so afraid?
- Queen Elizabeth I: I'm always afraid.
- Sir Walter Raleigh: Kill a Queen and all Queens are mortal. We mortals have many weaknesses: we feel too much, hurt too much. All too soon we die, but we do have the chance of love.
- Queen Elizabeth I: Do we? I have given England my life. Must she also have my soul?
- Sir Francis Walsingham: Forgive me, Your Majesty, I have failed you.
- Queen Elizabeth I: How have you failed me? What am I to forgive you for?
- Sir Francis Walsingham: Philip of Spain is a God-fearing man who cannot declare war without a just cause. I intercepted every letter Mary Stuart secretly dispatched but failed to see Spain knew I was reading them. They waited for her to write the words that in my eyes would confirm her treason. Forgive me. I am trapped in my own web.
- Queen Elizabeth I: And I ordered Mary's execution. I murdered God's anointed Queen. And now God's most dutiful son makes Holy War to punish me.