Witches DBQ Essays

Submitted By Napalmzombie
Words: 1493
Pages: 6

“We found a witch may we burn her?” the start of a famous scene from the movie monty python and the holy grail. It depicts a hoard of peasants bringing forth an older women yelling “we found a witch” and making claims that she bewitched them meanwhile turning one of them into a newt as he claims “it got better”. This was a common claim in the middle ages and renaissance as there was always a need of a scapegoat for everyones problems, in many towns the scapegoat was older women who did something to bewitch someone somehow. This older demographic of old crones were persecuted by religious leaders, the system of which these witches were being killed being corrupt and the general idea of older women being most susceptible to the devil and the fear they cause, and the overall hysteria of the time, showing major biases in the the 15th to 17th century that lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths of supposed witches.

The middle ages brought forth a great fear of witches as the black death and other problems ravaged the land and everyone needed to blame it on someone. Religious leaders such as Pope innocent VIII of the catholic church and leader of the holy roman empire, Martin luther of the lutheran church with all his protestants ruling and John calvin of the puritanism work ethic and belief, all believed in witches because of the bible which they base their religions, said there are those who can become witches and sign pacts with the devil. This created a religious bias towards certain people in villages as they were all religious to some form of christianity and believed in the bible. This therefore lead the the peasants and zealots of their religion to go on crazy witch hunts as they search for the advocates of the devil to purge the land of their evil and save the souls of the villagers they are around. These escapades of searching for witches also brought about literature in societies where not many people could read, such as the book “The Hammer of Witches” by kramer and sprenger. They claim “A greater number of witches is found is the fragile feminine sex” inferring that women are weaker to temptation than men and are less perfect. They also claim that “There was a defect in the formation of the first woman” The rib was bent so the general nature of women is corrupt and imperfect creating a darker image for women from the church. These Ideas are biased due to kramer and sprengers religious background as monks in the christian faith. This further damned these witches and helped close the gap on what these were to people and was used as damning evidence in many cases which killed up to 100,000 witches in its time. Another factor of which many witches and government officials were troubled by this breakout of which callers was the belief of every else and causing many officials to become corrupt in their thought of the process. Many women were tortured in the middle ages to come to a confession that was not true as lead by groups such as the spanish inquisition and other religious groups torture was a means of way to get what you want out of someone and fast such was the case of walpurga hausmannin in dillingen Germany. She was accused of witchcraft most likely after a infant died while she was doing her midwifing job, she was tortured to get the “wanted” truth out of her. She agreed to eating children and seducing the devil after being tortured, Though the torture was not seen as wrong as they briefly mention it. It played a large part in the witch trials leaving a no decent way out of these womens predicaments as it was a be tortured and die or burn at the stake decision both were equally gruesome and unfair to the partaker. Though her story may be biased because of torture allowing anyone to hear what they want to hear out of anyone. Another means of which the government officials were corrupt where they were forced to by the peasants.As shown by the letter from johannes junius the mayor of germany to his daughter