Queen Mary asks Elizabeth to promise:

Queen Mary: When I am gone, you will do everything in your power to uphold the Catholic faith. Do not take away from the people the consolations of the Blessed Virgin, their Holy Mother.

Elizabeth: When I am Queen, I promise to act as my conscience dictates.

Queen Mary: Well, do not think to be Queen at all! (It clearly indicates she got angry)

1 Answer 1


When Elizabeth says, I promise to act as my conscience dictates, she is telling the queen that she promises only to do what she feels is right. A conscience is the morals and ethics a person feels, and to let a conscience dictate is to let your morals decide how you act.

Queen Mary gets angry because she wants Elizabeth to support Catholicism without questioning why. Elizabeth is saying she will not blindly support Catholicism. Instead, she will do only what she thinks is righteous and ethical, which may or may not include supporting parts of Catholicism, or even the religion as a whole.

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