Theatre of Horror

Theatre of Horror : Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Germany

3.33 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Early Modern crime and punishment evokes images of burning, public torture, and hanging and quartering. This book explores the religious, symbolic and political conditions in which such punishments were inflicted. The author argues that punishment was so terrible because there was little belief in rehabilitation of offenders, and the only purpose punishments served was to expiate crimes. He describes how symbolism influenced the institution and execution of tortures. The murderer of a child was thrown into a river in a sack, in which there were also a dog, a chicken, a snake and a monkey, all of which were allegorical representations of aspects of the evil that had been committed. Many punishments, such as burning on a wheel, were continued long after the victim was dead - the punishment being an expiatory ritual as much as a means of killing. The book also contains a studies of the crowds who turned up to witness executions in this period, and of the executioners themselves.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 200 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 419g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745606164
  • 9780745606163

Table of contents

Introduction 1. In Court 2. The Final Court Day 3. On the Pillory 4. The Culprit under Sentence of Death 5. On the Scaffold: Crime and Punishment 6. Rituals of Execution: From Purification to Deterrence 7. The Law and the People 8. Ars Moriendi: The Liturgy of a Violent Death Conclusion Select Bibliography Analysis of Criminal Statistics.show more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 11% (1)
4 33% (3)
3 33% (3)
2 22% (2)
1 0% (0)
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