Masculinity In Richard II

Decent Essays
Richard II (1377-1399 AD) was much popularized with his unmanly reputation in the later middle ages. He has been mocked and looked down upon because of his delight in various courtly cultures and his temperament of staying away from fights and maintaining peace, thus becoming some major factors of distancing himself from chivalry and “masculinity”. Christopher Fletcher, in the essay, “Manhood and Politics in the reign of Richard II”, has discussed the various criticisms that the king faced. He reports that Thomas Arundel, the Archbishop of Canterbury had delivered a sermon at the king’s deposition, wherein he mocked upon the king’s behavior of being a ‘boy’ and of being impressed by sycophants, thus, being unfit to rule. A subsequent…show more content…
Even the fifteenth century’s Eulogium Chronicle questioned the king’s attitude as it claimed that the king was fearful of the one’s under his rule after he turned eleven, “although he lacked offspring and bellicose spirit”. Thus, masculinity indeed emerges as the crux of the medieval age (1066-1500 AD). The medieval age has always been an age of utmost ambiguity. It is usually claimed that the words such as ‘manhood’ or ‘masculine’ does not necessarily denote the ‘male gender’…show more content…
Although the records do employ the facts of women working as wage earners in the textile economy of the middle ages (Mirti Rubin, “A decade of studying medieval women”), still, the contrarian views were all pervasive. Christopher Fletcher scrutinizes this discomfort by examining theories which made application of ‘manhood’ for a woman a bit edgy. Isidore of Serville in the Etymologies (c.600-625) propounded that as compared to the female counterpart, it’s the ‘ man’ who possesses the superior force (“vir”), thus making such theories a means for further criticisms from eleventh century onwards. Bartholomaeus Anglicus’s “De Proprietatibus Rerum” states that males surpass women in the biological process in “vertue and strength”, in reason and discretion, and posits that the ‘man’ is more “steadfast and stable”, making the woman an undeveloped category. In fact, the youths were considered to share the “moist” physical attributions of women, thus not considered ‘masculine’, thereby paving ways for critiquing Richard II as a
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