Marie Antoinette: a villain or Victim?

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Marie Antoinette: A Villain or Victim?

History through biography

The fair-haired Austrian princess married Louis XVI when she was only 15 years old.

Her life from that moment on became inextricably connected to the opulence of the Bourbon court. Our current obsession with the French Queen has left us with questions surrounding her reign. Was Marie Antoinette a villainous monarch who justifiably got what she deserved or was she a victim of circumstance, misunderstood by the masses?

Assignment: Watch the Movie “Marie Antoinette” (2006), written and directed by Sophia Coppella, and analyze how her life was portrayed in the film.


  1. Describe the handing off ceremony where Marie Antoinette leaves Austria and enters France.

  2. Describe the character of Louis the XVI as portrayed in the movie. What was he like?

  3. Describe the Palace of Versaille.

  4. Describe the Fashion of the French court.

  5. Why was it so important that Marie became pregnant?

  6. Describe the character of Marie Antoinette as portrayed in the movie? What was she like?

  7. Why was Louis reluctant to send troops to help with the American Revolution? Why did he agree to send money?

  8. Why was Marie constantly surrounded by baked goods? What do you think it symbolized?

  9. How did Marie react to the newspaper reports of her shopping, gambling and especially the “Let them eat Cake” quote?

  10. How did the revolutionaries change public opinion about Marie Antoinette?

  11. In the second opera scene, Marie Antoinette claps for the performers. Why is it significant that no one claps with her? Explain.

  12. What reasons for the French Revolution are portrayed (shown) in the movie?

  13. How does Marie Antoinette’s life end?

  14. Do you think the movie portrayed Marie Antoinette as a victim or a villain. Which do you think she was? Support your answer with evidence from the film and your study of the French Revolution.

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