In important respects, the great witch hunts began with the invention of the stereotypical witch in texts by professional demonologists. Prior to the publication of these texts, there was already widespread belief in magic both harmless and malicious. But not until the practice of magic became a religious warfare between God and his enemy the devil did community concerns about the practice of magic evolve into the desperate, sadistic trials that occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the idea that witchcraft was a reality rather than a myth suddenly made a comeback. Trials of individual witches in early modern Europe always began with specific accusations brought against a supposed witch by one or more of her neighbours. When the printing press was invented, writings could be distributed around Europe.
Julio Caro Baroja explains in his book on Basque witchcraft that women who were out casted from society and unable to fulfill their womanly duties became witches as a way to compensate for her failed life. They were thought to be a threat to society as they dwindled in evil magic. This misunderstanding may have originated from the literary works of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, in their published book, “Malleus Maleficarum”. Accusations of being adulterous, liars and dealing with the devil materialized because of the... ... middle of paper ... ...they don’t understand. Reactions of witch-hunts were based on misconceived panic and anxiety of anything outside of the common religious beliefs.
Then Goody Osborne and Sarah Good were known to be witches, proving witches had come onto Salem, and seeding doubts of others innocence and purity. Many others in the town gave false confessions and countless names when convicted, this was seen as a way to evade punishment, the majority of the confessions being lies only to escape a noose. As with the alleged witches of Salem, suspected Communists were encouraged to confess an... ... middle of paper ... ...n as truth in court, giving the court evidence to accuse Mary Warren as a witch as well. Not only were there events that displayed McCarthy in The Crucible, but also specific characters. The prime example is Sarah Bishop who had once before been accused of witchcraft in another town, and had a permanently scarred reputation because of the prior accusation.
For example, just like the witch trials accusing people of witchcraft, Americans during the Red Scare accused others of being pro-Communist. The same widespread paranoia occurred as a result. Not everything is as simple as that though. There were no actual witches in Salem, but there were pro-Communists during the Red Scare. However, they both falsely accused many innocent people.
When one confronts the unknown, calamity may outbreak in order to achieve knowledge of what it is. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller shows that the unknown may cause calamity through the corruption of the Witch Trials of Salem. Throughout the novel, Miller shows that the unknown will destroy a civilization if the higher-class allow it through the accusation of Rebecca Nurse, the actions of Abigail Williams to rid of Elizabeth Proctor, and the structure of the village The unknown blinds one’s common sense, thus leading to chaos. Rebecca Nurse, wife of Francis Nurse, is highly respected in Salem, Massachusetts, but is accused for witchcraft, which is preposterous to almost everybody in the village. This is shown when Reverend Hale tells everybody in John Proctor’s house what has happened in courthouse: “Elizabeth: ‘Rebecca’s charged!’… Proctor: ‘Surely you cannot think so.’ Hale: ‘This is a strange time, Mister.
The law system was unfair during the trials, so when or if someone was accused the court would side with the accuser, unless of course, they were a witch themselves. In conclusion, the people who died and who were accused of witchcraft were not really witches, Salem and it’s inhabitants were under the influence of mass hysteria, personal beliefs and grudges that eventually became the chaos of the Salem witch hunts of
The Salem witch trials began with the accusation of people in Salem of being witches. But the concept of witchcraft started far before these trials and false accusations occurred. In the early Christian centuries, the church was relatively tolerant of magical practices. Those who were proved to have engaged in witchcraft were required only to do penance. But in the late Middle Ages (13th century to 14th century) opposition to alleged witchcraft hardened as a result of the growing belief that all magic and miracles that did not come unambiguously from God came from the Devil and were therefore manifestations of evil.
The witch can read minds!” This example proves how much power the people think the witch obtains, when in reality the witches were just not naïve or oblivious. They were realistic, but for some odd reason that had a great impact on the people. They believed that the witches had powers that they didn’t actually obtain, so without hesitation of course the witches were going to use this to their advantage to have power over the people.... ... middle of paper ... ... causes chaos during the brief period of the hysteria and trials, the social order of Salem is turned on its head. Eric Christ published a literary analysis of The Crucible, where he portrayed his idea that, “Another aspect of the play that struck me was the blatant wrong-headedness of an otherwise intelligent and fair man, Danforth. He sincerely believes that Abigail and the other girls are telling the truth.
Then while questioning the other girls, one of them mentions that Tituba, Reverend Parris’s servant, was the one doing witchcraft against them. In anguish Tituba confesses of doing witchcraft. Reverend John Hale convinces Tituba to go back to God and in this moment Reverend John Hale thinks he had caught a witch and saved the “afflicted girls” and in t... ... middle of paper ... ...the beginning Reverend John Hale’s intentions were good, just like Joseph McCarthy’s intentions in the 1950s, but they both got caught up in their reputations. Reputation played a tremendous role in The Crucible. The fear of guilt by association became destructive.
In a predominantly patriarchal society, European women have not only been omitted from most of the historical narratives, but their experiences were further deemed inconsequential or presented in a distorted manner. It comes with no surprise as many seventeenth century religious views stripped women from their Pagan cultural importance, just to have them demonized as witches. Though it has been pointed out to be an exaggeration to state that the crime of witchcraft was sex specific and solely attributed to women it remains undeniable and quite compelling the role of gendered structures of power in the European witch hunts. The aim of this essay is to examine the relationship between gender and witchcraft, as well as the rise in misogyny in early modern Europe. This will be achieved by looking at scholarship surrounding the impact of the witch-hunting treatises by Johannes Nider, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, respectively titled, the Formicarius and the Malleus Maleficarum.