Throughout history, there has been constant debate over the grim fate that Marie Antoinette, the beautiful and famous queen of France in the late 1700’s, met at the end of her reign. The story of Marie Antoinette is a tragic one, in which a young Austrian princess is sent from her home land to be married off and to become queen to the most prestigious throne in all of Europe. Thrust out of all she had ever known in her home land of Austria, the young queen is not welcomed in her new country. Marie Antoinette turns to an extravagant lifestyle of parties and fine luxuries to dull the pain and loneliness that she is forced to endure.
In an act of rage, the starving and poor citizens of France reach their limit, sentencing Marie Antoinette’s life to end by the guillotine for supposed treason. Although it is known that the life of Marie Antoinette was an extravagant one, the debate lies upon the fairness of her sentencing. Many wonder if death was an appropriate fate for the queen, and the answer is no. Marie Antoinette should not have faced the punishment of death, when a simple banishment would have been effective for her offences.
The first reason that the death penalty was an innapropriate punishment involves France’s first impression of Marie Antoinette. As a young girl, she was not familiar with the customs and personalities of the people of France, leading many to dislike her instantly when she arrived to marry Louis XV. The constant presence of the court in even the most impractical times such as going to bed began to irritate and bore the queen-to-be. Marie Antoinette did not initially favor the extensive assistance that the court was so accustomed to giving their royal kings and queens.
She eventually resorted to fine clothes and parties to add excitement to her life, and to aid in her homesickness. Marie Antoinette’s reputation was doomed from the start, because of her foreign nature. It was close to impossible to make a favorable impression on the people of her new country with such extreme differences in customs and attitudes. This dislike for the queen was embedded in the mind of many in the country before she had a chance to entirely exercise her rights as queen without judgement, and surely added to the eagerness of her country’s people to end her life.
The next complication that Marie Antoinette faced in her new life in France presented itself after her marriage to Louis XV was finalized. With the very purpose of a queen being to produce a son who can one day inherit the throne, Marie Antoinette faced an unfortunate situation with her new husband. Thus, her wild lifestyle, difficulty with producing a son, and unsympathetic image was not necessarily by choice. Marie Antoinette lived a life of glamour, but dissapointment.