The Malleus Maleficarum Analysis

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The Malleus Maleficarum is a 15th century work used as a justification for hunting women accused of witchcraft. Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger attempted to denounce and indict several women of witchcraft in Northern Germany, but local magistrates wouldn’t allow him to convict these women. Kramer left with a bad taste in his mouth and headed to the papal city of Rome to complain to the pope. The Malleus Maleficarum is filled with contempt for and denunciation of women in general and specifically midwives. The authors of this book used it to dehumanize women likely in an effort to make it easier for others to denounce and penalize them. Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger wrote the Malleus, and they used it to vilify, objectify, and dehumanize women for the assumed crime of witchcraft.…show more content…
They wrote, “All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman” (183). This shows that Sprenger and Kramer believed that not only were women wicked but they were more evil than “all wickedness.” The authors quote several others throughout the book, and use their words to back up their own misogyny. They quote Seneca as having said, “when a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil” (183). Again the writers attempt to persuade the public that women like demons and devils are naturally evil. They seem to believe that women are inherently malevolent, and unredeemable. He believes women are evil because they are descended from Eve (184). In practically every sentence they denounce women and claim they are corrupt and nefarious. When they characterize women this way they allude to the idea that women are not human but in fact demons and devils. Consequently, if women are inherently evil and more likely to be witches then magistrates and inquisitors will find it easier to condemn and execute
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