Essay on The Punishments of the Medieval era

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The Punishments of the Medieval Era When Shakespeare was born in 1564, Queen Elizabeth had taken power a mere 6 years prior, and her justice system was very different from ours. In this paper, I hope to explore some of the ways punishments were different, such as how many crimes had individual punishments, often times depending on how severe the crime was. I will also go in-depth to one of the most infamous cases of the medieval period. Imprisonment was very rare. If you were in jail, you were there because you were on trial, and you weren’t allowed to return home. Trials were very brief and if you were charged of a felony or treason, you weren’t allowed to have a lawyer. Unsurprisingly, trials were quick, with extremely…show more content…
The chair would be continuously lowered and raised into a river, as I previously mentioned. The Cucking stool often drew in large crowds people who would laugh at the person. People who would be stubborn and not speak at their hearings would be forced to lie on their backs on top of a large pointy stone, while stones would be continuously put on wooden boards on their chests until the weight eventually crushed them. Thieves were slightly odd in the medieval times as far as they’re punishments went. Thieves could get their first sentences reduced if they had learned of the benefits of becoming a member of the clergy. These benefits were lost if these people were repeat offenders. The theft of farm animals, which was considered a smaller crime, they would have their left hand burned as a permanent mark of shame. This also would occur if they had broken into another man’s home, but this man didn’t feel as if his life was in danger from the break in. Repeat offenders were sentenced to death. In addition to all of these, people who took their own lives were to buried with a stake shoved through their graves. At the end of my look into how justice was served back in Shakespeare’s time, I’ll give a brief examination of what many people think of when they hear something about Medieval times, Torture. When John Gerad, a priest/spy, was captured by Queen Elizabeth’s guard, he was spent 3 years in captivity, until finally he was taken
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