Richard III discussion

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To Cry, To Weep

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message 1: by Ikonopeiston (new)

Ikonopeiston (Ikon) | 385 comments I obviously have too much spare time on my hands. I am curious to know if medieval men cried as often and as openly as the historical novelists would have us believe. When did stoicism become a masculine virtue? I have had no success so far in poking around in various sites. Does anyone here, perhaps Susan, have any information on this vital topic?

It seems passing strange that men would leave off having at one another with battle axes and swords and dissolve into Pre-Raphaelite emotions.


message 2: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 1139 comments Mod
Good question. The one that always bothers me is the way so many people puke at the drop of a hat. Can you recall the last time (not counting food or food poinsoning) that you had a long talk with porcelain Annie?


message 3: by Ikonopeiston (last edited Feb 16, 2009 05:35PM) (new)

Ikonopeiston (Ikon) | 385 comments LOL Odd you should bring this up. Just a few nights ago I had a nightmare which left me nauseated when I woke up. So I had a chat on the big white telephone and a Xanax before I could woo sleep again.

On the other hand, I cannot remember when I last cried.

You mention food poisoning and food. Have you thought about what they ate in that time? All that sweet stuff and all those spices (to cover up the taste of meat going green?)

I get queasy just reading the descriptions of their banquets. Heh!


message 4: by Susan (last edited Feb 16, 2009 05:45PM) (new)

Susan (boswellbaxter) | 418 comments In his Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England (mainly dealing with the 14th century), historian Ian Mortimer writes, "Men and women cry when they are deeply saddened or grief-stricken, of course; but you will also find people weeping for less emotional reasons. For instance, when a merchant or person in authority wishes to extort a financial due or a service you have promised, he may well weep on account of the distress it gives him to have to exact the full payment."

I think medieval men in general did wear their emotions a lot closer to the surface than modern men do. Mancini describes men weeping openly at the mention of the Princes in the Tower, and Richard III and his retinue are described as shedding "plenteous tears" at Edward IV's memorial service at York.


message 5: by Ikonopeiston (new)

Ikonopeiston (Ikon) | 385 comments Thank you. I wonder when and why it became a sign of weakness for a man to openly weep.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (boswellbaxter) | 418 comments Maybe around the 17-18th centuries? Just a guess. Dickens, though, has his characters shedding manly tears at appropriate moments.


message 7: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 1139 comments Mod
Ikonopeiston wrote: "LOL Odd you should bring this up. Just a few nights ago I had a nightmare which left me nauseated when I woke up. So I had a chat on the big white telephone and a Xanax before I could woo sleep ..."

Ikon, ROFL LMAO I needed that after a brutal session with the evil evil PT lady :)




message 8: by Ikonopeiston (new)

Ikonopeiston (Ikon) | 385 comments Misfit, It is the g-d's truth. Xanax is a wonder drug. I was introduced to it during my latest visit to the hospital. Maybe your vile PT Lady could get you some. Is she still making you bend your knee backwards?

In re puking: they drank a lot too. "In England, no man willingly drinks water." Just think for a moment about what a few cups of malmsey would do to your digestion.

Susan, now that you mention it, I do remember Dicken's males getting wildly lachrymose with unbecoming frequency. And I cannot think of Mr. Darcy shedding tears on any convenient bosom.


message 9: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 1139 comments Mod
Ikon, bending knee backwards, no. Making me stand on one foot, yes. Making me walk backwards, yes (and they think I did that well balanced before??).

LOL over the malmsey, never tried it but I'd probably be puking too.

The Dickens comment reminded me of Bronte's Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Bronte was it?). Part of the story is told first person POV of the male character, which being as it was written by a 19C female came off a bit off at times, especially the part where he lay down in the ground and had a good cry or something over his broken heart.


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