the bad queen // characterization letter
In “The Bad Queen” written by Carolyn Meyer, the main character is Marie Antoinette. The book has five parts each consisting of a different period of her life: from a thirteen year old who has to marry the dauphin of France to being found guilty at thirty five and executed. She starts off as a very naive, whimsical teenage girl who’s life is dictated by her mother. She is required to marry the dauphin of France at a very young age. When she is at the alter, she says, “After years of being the generally ignored fifteenth child, I loved being the center of attention” (Meyer 43). This generally stayed the same, she “intended to make my own rules” (174) when she reigned and thus, spent the countries’ money on extravagant parties. As a result of this, the people of the court and the public hated her. When she is asked to stop spending so much, she replies with “I have no such wish. The king has given permission for these entertainments, and the expenses involved are not my concern” (180). This in turn shows that she only cares about her own enjoyment and disregards the needs of the public.
However, when the people stormed the castle to hurt and imprison her, she sees that they hate her but she believes “they would believe about me whatever they wanted to believe. I decided it was best to ignore them. If they chose to despise me nothing would change their minds” (276). She believes that she doesn’t have any fault to play and the public just hates her because she is from Austria. She is selfish and dimwitted but a good mother and she does teach the right morals to her children and she’s feels regret about her actions because her children face horrible consequences as well. In the author’s note, the author describes her as “seriously flawed-but not evil” (419), which I agree with. I don’t know for sure if she regrets how she behaved but she definitely behaved differently at the end -from naive and high spirited to miserable and apologetic.