Witches And Its Effects On Society Essay

Witches And Its Effects On Society Essay

Length: 867 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The word “witch” is defined as a woman who is thought to have magic powers, and also as a person who practices magic as part of a religion (such as Wicca) . You might ask yourself, how did witches come to be? Well, witches started out as “healers”. Healers were around thousands of years ago when modern medicine and treatment for illnesses was not an option. Witches were very skilled in their ability to come up with herbal solutions and remedies for illnesses. They were very wise in their knowledge of herbs and homeopathic remedies. Eventually though, witches and their practices would become threatened as the rise of Christianity came across Europe. Many of the Puritans feared the witches and what they could do with their healing powers. The church viewed this “healing” as evil sorcery and thought that the witches were even doing the devil’s bidding, which they referred to as witchcraft. Witchcraft is defined as the use of magical powers obtained especially from evil spirits, the use of sorcery or magic, communication with the devil or with a familiar . This hysteria from the church is very similar to how the Salem Witch Trials came to be.
During the fourteenth century, people in that time were always fearful of how they would die or what would happen to them next. Whether it be death by starvation, death by exposure, or death by savages the people were fearful especially of outsiders. This fear is what allowed for the accusations of people to begin. In January of 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, two young girls started the epidemic. Elizabeth Parris, 9 years old, and Abigail Williams, 11 years old started having fits, this included having violent contortions and outbursts of uncontrollable screaming. The local doctor, William Grig...


... middle of paper ...


...elp give money leads to a tragic ending.
Along with their strong beliefs, the Puritans also viewed their duty to get rid of the “sinners” or in that time the witches. The afflicted girls would single out the outcasts, the social deviants, and those who strayed from the Puritan values. For example, Sarah Osborn, one of the first accused, previously had a premarital sex scandal and did not attend church regularly. The fact that Osborn was viewed as a sinner, as many other that were accused, played a huge role in her accusation and conviction. The accused witches were extremely easy targets because in the Puritans’ eyes they had failed to uphold the moral code and therefore had to be punished. Rather than having cold hard evidence of the accused being witches, their convictions were based on word of mouth, testimonies, and opinions of young girls.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Salem Witches and Ergot of Rye Essay

- ... Bridget Bishop was accused, because the way that Bishop "was in the propensity of dressing more aesthetically than ladies of the town" likewise helped in vast part to her conviction and execution. The Salem Witch Trials ended, because highly respected citizens started to be accused and executed, such as Rebecca Nurse, George Burroughs, and Giles Corey. Also, evidence was brought to show people that witchcraft was not the factor of the children's’ illness. About Ergot of Rye Ergot of rye is a poisonous condition transformed by consuming grain, grain items, (for example, rye bread), or grasses tainted with ergot parasite or by ceaseless unreasonable utilization of an ergot drug....   [tags: victims, witchcraft]

Better Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Witches

- The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: A Review Karlsen, Carol F. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England. New York: Vintage, 1987. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen takes a closer look at the females being accused of witchcraft in colonial New England. American history has few subjects as interesting as witchcraft, because it confronts us with many different ideas about women. It confronts us with fears about women, the place of women in society, and with women themselves....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1354 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Supernatural in Shakespeare's Macbeth - Witches and Macbeth

- The Witches and Macbeth       The belief in the existence and power of witches was widely believed in Shakespeare's day, as demonstrated by the European witch craze, during which an estimated nine million women were put to death for being perceived as witches (The Burning Times). The practice of witchcraft was seen to subvert the established order of religion and society, and hence was not tolerated. Witch hunting was a respectable, moral, and highly intellectual pursuit through much of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries (Best )....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Better Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Contradictory Nature in Accounts of Witches, Demons, and Devils Between 1450 and 1800

- The account of witches or magic during the early modern Europe and America, the period between 1450 and 1800 was the most inconsistent and contradictory simply its aspects were least understood. Surprisingly, most of the accusations and prosecution were directed to women in both Europe and America (New World at the time). The accounts of this witches were also contradictory based on the period in which they were being performed. It was the age when the intellectuals were rising with many innovations and discoveries done by scientists such as Isaac Newton, John Locke, writers, philosophers among others ....   [tags: supernatural, revenge, magic]

Better Essays
958 words (2.7 pages)

The Partial Responsibility of the Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

- It is the purpose of this assignment to explore whether the witches influenced Macbeth sufficiently to cause him to commit murder, treason and regicide, or whether Macbeth was capable of committing these crimes on his own and the witches only made this happen a little earlier and a little more certainly. We will also explore the Elizabethan audience, their superstitions, and how they would react to the character of the witches as seen in Macbeth. Historically, the witches have been seen as evil beings that gain evil powers from the devil to use during their lifetime, in return for their souls when they die....   [tags: Shakespeare Character Witch]

Better Essays
3863 words (11 pages)

Essay about Witches in The Crucible

- The Decision of a Condemned Witch Death over life- a decision that would no one in their right mind would choose to take. Today, there would be so many other options to take- reasons to live, and that the choice of death would seem almost a sin. On the other hand, if were to take a trip back in time to the 1600’s, one might find oneself in an entirely different world- where situations and meanings- such as a name, and the simple ways of life are much more different than what one could ever see in our time....   [tags: Arthur Miller]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about The Effects of Feudalism

- In Medieval times during the 10th and 13th centuries, a form of political and social organization called feudalism was a way of life that had great effect on people of the time and on the modern world. Feudalism was developed because of the weakness of Europe and it's kings. The word feudalism comes from the word fief, which was the land held on condition of feudal service, similar to an estate (English). The fiefs bound together lords and vassals. Feudalism was a structure in which a lord divided his land into smaller parts to give to lesser lords (“Feudalism”)....   [tags: social organization, magna carta]

Better Essays
1151 words (3.3 pages)

witches and Witchcraft in Jacobean Society and Macbeth Essays

- The people in the Jacobean era believed in the strong presence of evil that plagued their world and specifically accused witches to be responsible for such evil. These influential beliefs can be seen as a common motif in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, where the witches have shaped Macbeth’s fate. Moreover the influence and fear of witches and witchcraft in Jacobean society has led to chaotic persecution of those associated with the practice and in Macbeth, the influence of witchcraft incited terror on one king and make decisions of an entire nation....   [tags: appearance, physical harm, witches]

Better Essays
1158 words (3.3 pages)

The Effects Of Ergot Poisoning And Mass Hysteria Essay

- The Effects of Ergot Poisoning and Mass Hysteria Many significant historical events in history provide many unanswered questions about what exactly occurred. Much of this is attributed to the lack of proper documentation or explanation about just what exactly was occurring at the time. The Salem Witch Trials offer an interesting middle-ground to this confusion, in that there was a well-documented history of what was occurring as well as a rather broad explanation of the situation. By the end of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, over one hundred and fifty Salem residents were accused of witchcraft with twenty-nine of them being found guilty and nineteen of them hung....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Ergotism]

Better Essays
1246 words (3.6 pages)

Obedience Within Society : The Witch Trials of 1692 Essay

- American principles exclude a tendency towards survival of the fittest, but rather survival as a union. Throughout America’s history, examples of extreme hysteria involve support by a majority of the population. Howard Zinn expands on this idea in the novel Declarations of Independence: Cross-examining American Ideology; he states, “Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience” (Zinn). Subsequently, the Witch Trials of 1692 and the McCarthy trials of the 1950’s were an exploitation of hearsay, and encompassed the people’s ability to act on vengeance....   [tags: obedience, salem, mccarthy trials]

Better Essays
1399 words (4 pages)