Witchcraft and Persecution
Witchcraft and persecution was a major craze in the time of Elizabeth 1’s region, in the year of 1563. In early modern tradition, witches were stereotypically women. The common belief was that these women would make a diabolical pact with evil spirits and appeal to their intervention. They would reject Jesus and the holy sacraments, and take part in "the Witch's Sabbath”; which was known as a parody of the mass and sacraments. By giving honor to the 'Prince of Darkness,' they would in turn receive supernatural powers, basically becoming evil. They believe with women’s frustrations and struggles, that the main reason of joining witchcraft was to protect the well being of their children or seek revenge on a loved one.
Today, many may think that witches are characterized as ugly, old ladies who have green bumpy skin, and make magic potions from black pots. But during this time witches were described to be "crone-like," with snaggled teeth, sunken in cheeks, and hairy lips. Which doesn’t sound like a pretty sight, and it’s very similar to how we picture witches today! Also, if they owned a cat, they were most likely to be considered a witch; just like modern times today. The behavior of suspected women to be witches were very strange, such as screaming, frequent seizures, trance like states, and mysterious spells.
But why is it that only woman were accused of being witches and not as much men? They say that there were only a very few men that were tried for witchcraft, but it turns out that the only reason that is, is because they were only related to a women who was convicted of witchcraft. When brought to court most men were let off with lighter sentences then women.
There were many reasons as to why accusations were brought about during this time, and mostly the women who were independent and outspoken were targeted the most. The way accusations would work was several men would stand in front of a judge on behalf of these women,...