Reactions of witch-hunts were based on misconceived panic and anxiety of anything outside of the common religious beliefs. Because of poor record keeping, the exact numbers of men and women persecuted on the account of being witches may never be accurate enough to decide if it was an issue of misogyny. Citation Anne Llewellyn Barstow, “On Studying Witchcraft as Women History,” pp. 279-288 in J. Mitchell, Helen Buss Mitchell (2010) Taking Sides. Clashing Views in World History.
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.
Theme of Stereotypes One of the main themes that I noticed when I was reading through the fairy tale texts was the theme of stereotypes. Firstly, what are stereotypes? Stereotypes are essentially an offensive generalization or an over exaggerated view that is used to categorize a group of people. I noticed that in two of the three texts that I have selected for this paper, the authors, Jakob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, tend to portray women as being very dependent on men. In addition, to being depicted as being very dependent, they were also shown to be weak and very naïve.
Since they are not real women, their prophesies should not be trusted. A false attire may equal a false heart. Macbeth also finds himself dubious to their intentions, but the witches´ prophesies mesmerizes him. Not until Ross calls him by his new title can he grasp the significance of their foretelling. Still, he has questions: “The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me In borrowed robes?” (1.3.105).
A controversial question debated by many is, “Can human beings really have the freedom to do as we wish? Or do people influence our so called ‘free will’, to the extant where we don’t have a choice? ” This question is raised in Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare in 1606, a play that deals with key themes such as good versus evil and power. I will be talking about how the witches aren’t the most powerful characters in the play, and aren’t the catalyst to all of Macbeth’s crimes by using the witches, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself. It took a combination of the witches, Lady Macbeth and himself for Macbeth to commit these crimes.So who really has the power?
In result, it is quite difficult to get a grasp on any identities women associated themselves with. However, court rolls, personal accounts, and analysis from scholarly authors offer an in-depth insight. This paper will focus on the twelfth and thirteenth century region of Western Europe. Three issues will be addressed; how a woman’s identity is formed, how it differed from men, and how legal identity of a woman reflected and influenced other aspects of their identity. The legal identity of gender made women identify themselves as inferior, powerless, silent, and unequal.
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.
Superstition and the Witch-hunts in Early Modern Britain The people of Early Modern Britain were deeply superstitious and this aspect to their character had a major bearing on the course that the events of the witch-hunts took. The belief in witches was as illogical as many of the other beliefs that were popularly held in Early Modern Britain. The populous held many beliefs that were not based on fact. These beliefs would be very old and passed on from generation and built in to the character of every person. People had always believed in witches throughout Europe but there had not been any official attempt to exterminate them as a group.
To begin Trifles does not sound like the name of a play about murder, it sounds like the name of a silly play, a trifle in and of itself. It is not however, the name is a subterfuge to hide its themes of justice, patriarchal dominance and women’s place within society. The women are not given their own identity, they are instead Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters identified by their husbands. The only exception to this is Minnie Wright who is not present throughout either story.
As a female writer she was viewed as highly unusual for not marrying and having a career, something which ran contrary to the middle-upper class view for women as the domesticated, subservient housewife. Therefore, although Austen can be seen to conform to the view of gender stereotyping, it is possible to see the emergence of feminist attitudes in the way Austen presents strong female protagonists. In Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice ’ there are no less than thirteen female characters, in contrast to the seven male characters that appear throughout, suggesting that Austen does challenge traditional female roles by writing a female centric novel. To a certain extent the males in this novel are controlled by the females. Caroline Bingley’s controlling attitude towards her brother in his affections to Jane seen in volume 3, chapter 18 where ‘Miss Bingley's congratulations to her brother, on approaching marriage, were all that were affectionate and insincere’ suggesting with the word ‘insincere’ that her brother has gone against her wishes, her behaviour reflecting this.