This paper examines social and religious attitudes towards women of the Renaissance/Reformation era, particularly with regards to witchcraft.
This paper examines the witchcraft hysteria that seized Europe during the Renaissance/Reformation period. It takes an in-depth look at the way women, particularly single women, were treated around Europe at this time and also gives detailed explanations of causes of the witchcraft hysteria. The author also describes the gruesome methods by which accused witches were punished.
“It is not exactly clear why the witchcraft hysteria died out when it did. Perhaps it was because so few women were escaping execution. Perhaps the executioners and witch-hunters grew bored with it. Alternatively, perhaps someone finally realized that the incessant torture and slaughter of innocent men, women, and children was wrong. In any case, the witchcraft hysteria is now beginning to be addressed as the women’s holocaust. No one can tell how many brilliant authors, musicians, artists, or thinkers may have been killed for saying, perhaps, that it looked like rain. The Renaissance may have been an era of artistic and intellectual greatness. However, it was a very dark hour indeed for humanity.”
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