In this unabashedly fictionalized version, the corsage/corset serves as a metaphor symbolizing the constrictions of a life of privilege but no power. Within her small sphere, she can make demands of her ladies-in-waiting. But outside of her rooms, she is constantly being told what to do by her husband and her son. Over and over, we see her testing restrictions within the limits of her situation. She is told she must make an appearance at a formal event, the emperor pointedly noting that she has been criticized for not spending enough time in Hungary. She arrives, but then she faints. While anyone whose corset is laced so tightly it is difficult to breathe might faint from lack of oxygen, she knows how to fake a swoon.