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Richard IIManhood, Youth, and Politics 1377-99$
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Christopher Fletcher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546916

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546916.001.0001

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(p.275) Conclusion
Richard II

Christopher Fletcher

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter surveys the various ways in which Richard II's manhood and youth came to be such important issues in the politics of his reign, both through the king's own attempts to be recognized in the status of a man, and his opponents' efforts to resist them. Richard emerges not as a champion of an alternative masculinity but as the vehement adept of certain conventional qualities associated with being a ‘man’: the deeds in war and the household establishment associated with manhood. What is perhaps most telling about the case of Richard II is the effectiveness with which it demonstrates that behaving in accordance with culturally normative ideas of manhood does not guarantee success in achieving the status these values promise. Yet despite their practical inefficiency, these ideas were still of considerable psychological and emotional power, and might in this sense be regarded as a kind of ‘hegemonic masculinity’.

Keywords:   Richard II, manhood, youth, masculinity, commonplace, normative ideas, politics, practice, hegemonic masculinity

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