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Conclusion :: Crime, Scandal, Spectacle


While Marie Antoinette was clearly a young frivolous girl placed in a position of power, the perception of her character to the public was largely myth and scandalized hyperbole. The motivations behind her nature, at the least, were misunderstood and formed by the public to fit the image of the femme fatale. This exaggeration of her image by the public was ultimately useful in the staging of the French Revolution.

Her initial misbehavior should be attributed to the fact that she was just 14, a child, when she was forcefully married and brought to France. It should be taken into account that this young introduction into royal life would coincide with a lack of education, resulting in inattention. Her character, ultimately, was re-shaped by the shock from the Diamond Necklace Affair and the birth of her children. These events transformed the young Austrian teenager into a more serious French Queen.

The predisposition for hatred of “the Austrian woman” is ultimately what led to the acceptance of her downfall.

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