Friday, February 25, 2011

Question from Sarah - Self control in Tudor times

I've read that in Tudor times, people exercised less self-control in many ways. Do you think this is true and if so in which ways?


Merlin said...

An interesting question and I think there is some truth in it. It's been noted that during the medieval/early modern period life expectancy was so much shorter than it is now that the bulk of the population were, in current terms, very young and on that basis more likely to exhibit heightened emotions and reactions to provocation. In addition, life by its very nature was generally more brutal and violent and therefore I think people were desensitised to things that we would find very hard to stomach today. I suppose another factor was that even in the highest circles people lived on top of each other- privacy was virtually unknown- and being in close proximity to so many other people must have made it more likely that tempers would flare on a regular basis.

Jacque said...

I think this question has more to do with how one views human nature than Tudor circumstances. I do not think people in general exercised more or less self-control than people in general do now. Such things as self-control, in my view, work themselves out in different ways, depending on the individual in question, but I do not think it is fair to say that one whole generation/group, etc. excerises or excersied more or less self-control than another, as a blanket statement. They ways in which the Tudors practiced (or didn't practice) self-control may very well have been different than the way we do, to some degree.