Crime And Punishment In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

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A central message throughout Frankenstein is that people be held accountable for their actions ‎whether justly or unjustly. One of these actions consistent in the story was the act of murder. ‎Murder was a crime commonly committed and punished throughout the story. The first murder ‎mentioned in the story was the murder of William Frankenstein the younger brother Victor ‎Frankenstein. Justine did not commit the crime, but she was urged to confess so she would not ‎go to hell. "Justine Moritz! Poor, poor girl, is she accused? But it is wrongfully; everyone knows ‎that; no one believes it, surely…" (Shelly, 62) Although no one may have believed that Justine ‎was guilty of this crime, she was put to death by hanging. ‎ Another character from…show more content…
Before 1829 most of Europe did not have a police force. (‎The Proceedings‎) If ‎there was a police force, it was small and they were paid nothing, " The pay lists show that the ‎total net salaries for officers amounted to £7.3s.4d a week." (Crime and Punishment) Even in ‎today 's market this would amount to about $1000.00 divided by the entire force per week. At ‎this same time the population of Europe was increasing due in part to the industrial revolution. ‎This increase also brought with it an increase in the crime rate which led to a time known as the ‎‎"Bloody Code" where crimes were punished with very harsh penalties. (Crime and Punishment) " ‎In 1688 there were 50 offences which carried the death penalty. This is amazing by modern ‎standards when even murder gets only imprisonment, but by 1800 there were 200 offences ‎punishable by hanging. The eighteenth century was thus a period of expanding use of capital ‎punishment. People were being hung for all manner of petty crimes. Some court records show ‎that during the two years 1774-6 people were hung for arson, cattle stealing, 'destroying silk on a ‎loom ', 'willfully wounding a horse ', sheep stealing, swearing false oaths, 'impersonating another ‎to receive a seaman 's wage ', and similar." (Law, Ideology and the…show more content…
This song reflected how the police force pervasively ‎used hanging or "death above ground" (King,2006) as punishment and how distrusted and ‎corrupt they were.‎
Packington 's Pound
Beggar 's Opera Air XLIII

Thus Gamesters united in Friendship are found,
Though they know that their Industry all is a Cheat;
They flock to their Prey at the Dice-Box 's Sound,
And Join to promote one another 's Deceit.

But if by mishap
They fail of a Chap,

To keep in their Hands, they each
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