Most characters in Elizabeth are obsessed with fulfilling their own selfish wishes.
In the film Elizabeth most of the characters are only interested in fulfilling their own wishes. Although there are a few characters who seem to be unselfish we can not be sure whether their motives are just better concealed then others. Elizabeth is set in a time when men ruled and often got their own way, so it is interesting that when a woman comes into a position of power they feel threatened by her and try to do something about it. .
Robert Dudley is a good example of a character who puts his own desires first. Before Elizabeth became Queen he was having an affair with her and it is obvious that they are both in love. When Elizabethâ€™s sister dies, however, she is no longer his property and he knows he has no chance of being with her while she is on the throne. It is interesting that his original love for her leads him to commit treason. This results in Dudley losing Elizabethâ€™s trust. He ruined his entire life for the sake of his selfish wish to possess Elizabeth as a woman rather then as a Queen.
The Duke of Norfolk seems to be the most corrupted character of the film. He violently opposes Elizabeth being the queen and also commits treason, which leads to his own death. Norfolk is a Roman Catholic and hates all Protestants; he tries to force Queen Mary into putting her sister to death even while she is lying on her deathbed. When she dies without signing the paper he sets it on himself to get Elizabeth off the throne. Near the end of the film, Norfolk has deluded himself into believing that he can replace her as King and rule England himself. His selfish religious views are what leads to his execution.
The pope plays a small but interesting role in the film. He sends a priest to try to murder Elizabeth because he wants England to stay loyal to the Roman Catholic Church. Some may argue that he does this because he is trying to save the people of Englandâ€™s souls and believes it is his duty as a servant of God.