Author Topic: Bowing/Curtseying  (Read 5912 times)

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Offline Philomel

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« on: November 08, 2010, 06:42:57 PM »
Sorry if this is covered elsewhere, I  tried searching and came up with info on archery bows, but not bowing...

We're getting into the nitty gritty of who bows to who, and are hung up on a couple of things...

1.  Should a wife (queen, duchess, etc) curtsey to her husband?  Our script has the king giving his wife (moi) permission to sit, so I'm thinking yes?

2.  How to acknowledge people bowing/curtseying to me?  Or do I? 

Offline Sir Ironhead

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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 08:12:30 PM »
Hmmm, not sure on number 1 but for number 2 I have heard the following: "Please take your ease" (my fav), "Please rise", and "Recover".  I have heard these addressed to individuals and groups of people as the person being bowed/curtseied to walked by.
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Offline Becky10

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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 08:23:02 PM »
Okay I am going to be completely unhelpful because I am not sure what the answer to this would be given your high status but it made me think of this. My mother has a tendency to like drift off well last year one of the youngest of the Queens Guards was bowing o my mom and she was just standing there. The poor boy was bent with his shepherds pie for a good minute before I realized what was going on and alerted her.
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Offline lys1022

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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 11:06:16 PM »
If you want to be historically accurate, not only should a wife curtsey to her husband, she should go into the curtsey, wait for him to rise her up AND she should ask his permission to speak and wait for him to grant it.  Even more technically speaking, a woman should do this with any man of equal or higher rank.  Women should also curtsey to most other men, though the depth of the curtsey can range from a dipping of the head to a full curtsey, depending on their ranks.

When I play Gertrude Courtenay, who is a Marchioness (and the third or fourth highest ranking woman in England at certain points), I still dip my head to the men of the Village, acknowledging that they are men, and I am a mere woman.  Though, because I do outrank them, it is only a dip of the head, and unless my character is doing some serious sucking up to them, she would never ask their permission to speak.  Her husband, yes.  A Duke, yes.  The King, oh heck yes.  But probably not anyone lower in rank.
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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 07:03:56 AM »
In the renaissance/medieval/anytime before recent period, men were more important than women. So yes, a woman would bow to a man of equal station. Its also a good idea to bow to/show respect to those you want something from (ie. if a queen wants something from a baron, start kissing up).

"Please rise", "Rise you up", *vague-wave-of-the-hand-in-an-upward-motion*...anything that says "I see you and acknowledge your sign of respect to me" usually works, depending on the situation and people involved.

Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 07:34:48 AM »
I am assuming we are talking common Anglo-Franco-Norman protocol for the Renaissance Court.
Yes, You would curtsy to your king/husband as Queen. Yould would acknowledge males of lower rank with a slight nod. However, the protocol at the Spanish Court was much more rigid and stratified. As a Marquesa (Marchioness to you English), I would curtsy, the king, Queen, Dukes and Duchesses and my husband, a nod for Counties, Baronies, Viscounties and other nobles. But I would not be expected to acknowledge anyone who was not nobly born, male or not. Katherine of Aragon had some issues with this when she first arrived in England.
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« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 07:36:03 AM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline stonebiscuit

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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 08:30:54 AM »
1) Unless you're portraying the role of Jesus Christ, or possibly the Pope depending on the king and the year, absolutely curtsy to the king. If you and the actor portraying said King want to work out some special way he greets you, like taking your hands to raise you from your curtsy or something, I think it would be cute, but you always curtsy. Historically, yes, you ought to ask his permission to speak, but I have never seen that play as anything other than creepy and awkward for an audience.

2) "Rise," "Recover," "Get up you fool," (to a good friend, or perhaps a fool), and I love Colleen McGuinness' "*vague-wave-of-the-hand-in-an-upward-motion*," which is super helpful if you're passing the peasantry and in the middle of conversation. If you're the ranking character in the area, you must always remember to tell people bowing to you to recover/rise/etc. else the actors in question will wind up in a very uncomfortable position.

Offline Philomel

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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 11:16:48 AM »
This is very helpful - thanks everyone!

So as queenie, I curtsey to the king my husband, and give a nod to the other high ranking noblemen.  If someone curtseys to me I can give them a wave or tell them they can rise.
I think I can handle this! 

Offline Rowan MacD

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Re: Bowing/Curtseying
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 12:19:29 PM »
     The regal wave or a nod of acknowledgment is usually enough to raise those of us who are in a curtsy, and I rise automatically once the royals pass by even if I am not noticed.
     The mundanes around me frequently imitate my Lord and I,  and they are tickled when and if the Royals notice the compliment.
     Being in the SCA sort of helps with the protocol reflex.
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