In the short story, In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka, we are introduced to a horrible device that is used to torture and execute prisoners. This apparatus does this by repeatedly writing the word of the law that the condemned person had broken into their flesh like a bizarre tattoo artist made of pain and blood. It is both sickening and fascinating to read the account of how this machine operates from the character named the Officer as he describes in gross details just what this monster of metal does to someone. But, why would Kafka write about these grisly details of blood and torn flesh? It was a metaphor for what happens when a punishment system has lost sight of reform and justice. In this paper, we will see how the machine is many metaphors of fear, injustice and what happens when a justice system becomes one of torture and about how people can view the system and how it may seem unfair to the common person about to face it.
In the chapter, “The body of the Condemned,” Foucault addresses the evolution of the punishment system and how it has gone from being a public spectacle to something that is done behind closed doors. Foucault opens the chapter with an extremely descriptive and gory representation of a public execution. The purpose of this was to display how execution have changed from being in the public eye to behind closed doors using the electric chair and legal injections. It was done in this fashion to deter individuals from committing heinous crimes. Today, the cost of prison time, fines, etc.. deter individuals instead. Punishment has become less about effecting the body and more about the changing the souls and integrating them back into society.
The immense sickness wasn’t the only thing dark about Europe’s Middle Ages. The monarchs were cruel and unruly to their subjects while enforcing brutality upon their land and citizens. The laws enforced by these kings and queens were nothing short of diabolical, for there was no set list of limitations and rules meaning that the monarchs could punish anyone for anything, even if that meant simply disturbing the king. The executions of the ‘accused’ were public to the citizens, and were “a pitiless affair” (McGlynn). The kings ruled with an iron fist as their methods of justice were murderous as executions “sent out a message of warning and deterrence” and “offered the ultimate guarantee against repeat offenders”. The message monarchs tried to send while carelessly shedding blood was that they desired to make a statement, and scare citizens into not committing crimes, for they would know the gruesome consequences. If not death, the “standard, mandatory sentence” of all accused peoples was mutilation of “eyes, noses, ears, hands, feet and testicles”. To sum it all up, punishment in the Middle Ages was much more unforgiving than in this modern day of age; being burned at the stake or beheaded by the guillotine are still some of the most spine-tingling punishments to this day. In all of the depressing fog of the Middle Ages, could there truly have been a beneficial factor?
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were a period of many changes in world of sciences. Usually the philosophes and researchers of the sciences were either supported or reprimanded by many aspects of life in these centuries. The work of scientists was affected by governments promoting, but also preventing, research of the sciences, religious bodies promoting or condemning the outcomes of experiments and theories and even merging outcomes to religious ideas, and also new relationships between scientists across Europe, but also with a neglect of women.
First, the Reign of Terror introduced a new killing machine that held a humane way of death when considering previous torturous killing. The image depiction represents
There have been many different types of forms used when it comes to punishing the accused offender. In the past the punishment methods used ranged anything from stoning to death, to setting someone alive on fire, hanging, or the beheading of someone, alongside with the attaching of the offender’s arms and legs to four separate horses, or oxen only to be pulled apart. In all these barbaric and inhuman acts by our standards today, were performed within the towns square so that the community and visitors would be able to witness these executions.
The author believes that “The secret of torture, like the secret of French cuisine, is that nothing is unthinkable” (Rose 176) and to illustrate this she uses an analogy where a man is tortured with a wheel and a snail is baked in its own shell. There are no limits in the world of torture and this fact may be a reason to believe that humans use their imaginary to accomplish the most horrifying things, but “torture didn’t come into existence to give vent to human sadism. It is not always private and perverse but sometimes social and institutional, vetted by the government and, of course, the Church” (Rose 177).
Giovanni Boccaccio gives the readers a description of the onset of the Black Death that offers a clear understanding of the events as they unfolded during that particular period. This essay will focus on how the Black Death came about, some of the key aspects of the plague as described by the writer in addition to the immediate and long-term political, economic and social consequences of the Black Death.
In 1560, Arnaud du Tilh - the imposter who posed as Martin Guerre - was hanged, with his body burned after his death. Today, execution is a controversial issue, and mediaeval and early modern executions (especially public executions) are viewed through the lens of enlightenment rationalism. However, this is not how public execution was always seen. When studying history, it is important that the historian does not view history through the lens of their own time, but instead the lens of the time they are viewing. This is one of the aims of studying microhistory - to provide the lens through which to observe a place and time. This is how I shall endeavour to use the fascinating case of the faux Martin Guerre - as a lens through which to view the attitudes, methods and reasoning behind public executions, including the execution that claimed the life of Arnaud du Tilh. It was the attitudes towards and legal philosophy of the time towards crime and punishment that led to Arnaud du Tilh’s sentence, so the fundamental question that this essay seeks to answer is why Arnaud was given the sentence that he was. Execution as an institution was not an extension of the state, as it is often seen today, but was instead an extension of the community that was seen as a normal part of the ‘divine order’. Arnaud du Tilh was executed by hanging and then burned due to the specific Christian and folk beliefs and symbolism surround methods of execution, and the execution was public not as a
The nineteenth century brought an impressive expansion of intellectual achievements and and progressions that lead to revisions of daily life in America. Technological advancements, such as the cotton gin, improved production capabilities in the south while transportation improvements, including railroads, allowed these products to become more accessible to northern communities and trade-driven towns. These various intellectual progressions, as well as others, performed collectively to reduce manual labor in America and improve communication:
In this paper, I will argue that the Bubonic Plague, which began to ravish the European populations in 1347, would have a lasting impact upon the Medieval World particularly in manners of religion, science and medicine, art, and the increased use of common and local vernaculars. These effects would alter the lives of many individuals and states of the Middle Ages, but also would be the roots of various political and social movements throughout Europe.
Violence has been interpreted in various way by authors as the centuries have gone by. In Candide, Voltaire paints a picture about violence in the 17th century as war that continues to rage over centuries between empires with the main protagonist Candide, and his fellow members being subjected to all kinds of hardships as they themselves become casualties of war. In the Dew Breaker, Danticat discusses the extent of the everlasting damage, both physical and psychological, that is caused by totalitarian regimes, such as the Duvalier’s in Haiti in the 1970s. The central character in this story, The Dew Breaker represents an individual that is the product of such regimes, with his cruel and sadistic past as a torturer epitomizing violence. On the
Public humiliation can be extremely effective and valuable for improvement in discipline and serves as a deterrent against future crimes. Public shaming has been employed since the beginning of time and is practiced worldwide. Throughout history, the advantage of the practice of public humiliation was exploited by early civilization for the prime and propitious results. In Ancient Rome, public humiliation was frequently utilized during crucifixion, when a person was killed for a sin. Crucifixion was as defined by Dr. Dan Hayden, “the most humiliating and degrading form of public death ever devised.” (Hayden, “Hung On a Tree”). The method of crucifixion was not only shameful for the one being punished but also was as an incentive for the public. It served as a reminder to avoid committing a sin. In the Middle East, nations such as Iran and Afghanistan, “authorities… amputated the hands of a convicted thief in front of other prisoners…”(Associated Press, “Iran Cuts Off Man’s Hand For Stealing”). The purpose of this form of public humiliation serves similar to the motives of the crucifixion. These are just two of the countless historical records that assert the usage of public humiliation for stabilization within the society. It was constantly used in the former times and is still used in the modern era. The effectiveness of this form of discipline was and is still witnessed by numerous individuals. The form of discipline portrayed by public humiliation persuades and serves as
"It [torture] assured the articulation of the written on the oral, the secret on the public, the procedure of investigation on the operation of the confession; it made it possible to reproduce the crime on the visible body of the criminal; in the same horror, the crime had to be manifested and annulled. It also made the body of the condemned man the place where the vengeance of the sovereign was applied, the anchoring point for a manifestation of power, an opportunity of affirming the dissymmetry of forces."