Social Image Of Marie Antoinette

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One of the most famous queen of France, Marie Antoinette is the major historical figure representing the dawn of the French revolution. Though she was seen as a symbol of the conservative, extravagant royal class, recent studies disagree on this well-known image. Historical fact shows that Marie Antoinette was a virtuous queen and a thoughtful mother who was courageous in the face of death. The current social image of Antoinette is a prejudiced one. Her notoriety is wrongly accused. Antoinette was only a victim of family ambition and the general situation in France.
Though she lacked actual political power, Antoinette lived an active, charitable and modest life. The famous phrase, “Let them eat cake” is often attributed to Antoinette as a vivid example of her ignorance. However, renowned biographer Antonia Fraser in Marie Antoinette: The Journey notes that this phrase is misattributed. It is actually originated from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions, an autobiography published when Antoinette was only nine. It is more likely that some discontented individual fabricated the scenario and put the words into the mouth of Marie Antoinette (Fraser, 124). Moreover, Antoinette’s actions show that she was far from ignorant. In 1785, when a terrible famine swept the country, potato planting
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It is evident that she made mistakes in her younger years. Yet not all of the criticisms of the queen were warranted, or even true. And in some ways, Antoinette is still misunderstood. She was a woman simply born in the wrong place at the wrong time and a “Scapegoat of the Ancient Regime when her faults were minor in comparison to the punishments inflicted on her.”, as is mentioned by Fraser in Marie Antoinette: The Journey (Fraser, 14). Teaching Antoinette as a symbol of the ignorant, noble class before the French revolution is wrong. Her current image in European history should be reevaluated based on actual fact and without any
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