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. Those who practiced simple sorcery, such as village wise women, were increasingly regarded as practitioners of diabolical witchcraft. They came to be viewed as individuals in league with Satan. Nearly all those who fell under suspicion of witchcraft were women, evidently regarded by witch-hunters as especially vulnerable to the Devil’s blandishments. A lurid picture of the activities of witches emerged in the popular mind, including covens, or gatherings over which Satan presided; pacts with the Devil; flying broomsticks; and animal accomplices, or familiars.
Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, the seven deadly sins had came into place which had taken the place of the ten commandments.3 This made it sins against God rather than sins against fellow neighbours and the community. "witchcraft had been previously been the crime of harming neighbours by occult means ; now clerical intellectuals tied it firmly to devil-worship." creating a new vision of witches of being extreme heretics therefore leading the way to large persecutions to eradicate this evil and cause of disord... ... middle of paper ... ...ration of the killing of women, London, 2000,pg 18 5 ibid.,pg 19 6 ibid.,pg 15 7 Norman, Davies, Europe A history, London, 1996, pg 556 8 Rob Briggs, Witches and Neighbours, London, 1996 pg 191 9 ibid.,pg 273 10 Norman, Davies, Europe A history, London, 1996, pg 566 11 Rob Briggs, Witches and Neighbours, London, 1996, pg 324 12 H.G. Koenigberger,, George. L. Mosse, G. Q. Bowler, europe in the sixteenth century, 2nd ed, England, 1989, pg 135 13 Rob Briggs, Witches and Neighbours, London, 1996, pg 323 14 ibid., pg 324 15 ibid.,pg 8 Bibliography: Briggs, Rob, Witches and Neighbours, London, 1996 Clarke, Stuart, Thinking with demons: the idea of witchcraft in early modern Europe, England, 1999 Davies, Norman, Europe A history, London, 1996 Heinemann, Evelyn, Witches : A psychoanalytical exploration of the killing of women, London, 2000 Koenigberger, H..G, George.
These skills which were once respected as sacred were now being sought out as works of malevolence. Priests and educated doctors viewed women as threats to their practices. Women were blamed and used as scapegoats for birth defects, male impotency and lack of control of their sexual desires. Witchcraft was relentlessly thought as the work of the devil with only sinful and immoral intentions. 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.
Maleficus basically translates to ‘a person who performed harmful sorcery’ or maleficium. This ‘harmful sorcery’ also included ‘theft or mu... ... middle of paper ... ...milar ‘rebellious women supposedly guilty of witchcraft’, brings the student in the dialogue to exclaim: “I cannot wonder enough how the fragile sex should dare to rush into such presumptions.” He then provides an elucidation of female inclination for witchcraft, basing his argument on ‘longstanding Christian conceptions of the physical, mental, and spiritual weaknesses of women, and their greater susceptibility to the temptations of the devil.’ Nider also believed that women had ‘the potential for extreme good, however, when they did not reach this potential, they sank into the ‘worst of evils.’ Both Nider and Kramer used evidence in their pieces cited from apparent authoritative sources for their arguments about the extent of women’s inclination to evil. However, these ideas were not new and were in fact borrowed heavily from the tradition of western misogyny .
The Puritian rituals, myths, and symbols from then on were seen perpetuated to the belief that women were a danger to their society. This idea of women connected directly to witchcraft was only reinforced by the newer post-Reformation ideas about women. Puritanism in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century in England caused much controversy over the nature of women and their roles in society. Puritian and Catholic witch-hunters both believed that women were, “evil, whorish, deceitful, extravagant, angry, vengeful, and, of course, insubordinate and proud.” Women “are altogether ... ... middle of paper ... ...ere being held due the shellfishes of the settlers. In all of this chaos I feel that it was inevitable that something would arouse from this madness as a scape goat for the disorder that was happening.
James I was personally terrified yet fascinated by witches after an attempt on his life by Agnes Sampson, a convicted witch. This led to the practice of witchcraft becoming punishable by death. A theme of such forbidden ideas, shrouded in the mystery of the supernatural would surely have horrified those watching the play yet left them intrigued. The witches embody a malign and demonic intelligence. They utilise this to guide the main themes and characters within the play, notably by their reversal of nature when chanting 'Fair is foul and foul is fair'.
Sadly, all the factors that lead to the deaths of many innocent people were all fictitious. They were simply an attempt by the Puritans to regain the control that they were slowly losing. Overall, witchcraft effecting women and some men in colonial America was portrayed rather effectively in The Devil in the Shape of a Woman in many ways. The stories in her study were absolutely fascinating. I think what made these stories more fascinating to me was the fact that all these stories are true.
The witchcraft hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts resulted from the strict Puritan code which aroused the girls interest in superstition and magic and caused strange behavior. The Salem witch trials were based on the Puritans and their God versus Satan and his followers and their strict codes. Puritans had always thought that they were the new chosen people, abandoning a land of sin and oppression to establish the Promised Land (New England). Puritans beliefs were rooted in contrasts. (1) They believed that if there was something good there was something bad to contradict it, for instance since there was a God, there must be a devil.
Events and characters in Millers play reveal the dramatic, anxious, and hysterical actions and allegations that came with The Red Scare. A parallel between McCarthys world and The Crucible is how the people reacted to the thoughts of witches or communists infiltrating their societies and how that resulted in hysteria throughout towns. In Salem confessing and giving up others “witches” was a way to get out of your noose, but was also a way to augment the rumors of witches in Salem. Tituba was forgiven because she confessed to dealing with the devil and for giving up Goody Osborne and Sarah Good. 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.
They also feared one more thing, Witchcraft. (Magoon 7) Religion played a big part in this hysteria. The Puritan religion believed that bible was gods law, and it also provided a plan for there life. The people of Salem believed that witches and witchcraft was a big threat. The thought that witches could control their mind and body and make them do crazy things.