The Punishment In The Elizabethan Era

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A man named W.S Gilbert once said, “Let the punishment fit the crime.” In the Elizabethan Era this idea was nowhere near hypothetical. The punishments were only as harsh, heartless, and unusual as one could imagine for every act that was considered a crime. The most inhuman behaviors were demonstrated at every hour, of every day, throughout this time period. Although the upper and lower class committed mostly contrasting crimes, they all had similar punishments involving humiliation from villagers that were classified as common or rare.
The upper class committed contrasting crimes to the lower class because of their prestige and power in the community. This was because of their opposite social standards. The most significant crime nobles
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Without any proof, a person can be punished for a crime for being accused of it. No excuses were tolerated for receiving a punishment. If a person begged for mercy or forgiveness, the torture methods had the potential of being much worse (Lestikow).
Common torture methods were beating, burning, drowning, poisoning, and stretching a criminal 's body. Cutting off limbs, such as fingers, toes, and ears were also a typical form of torture. These punishments were considered normal and not excessive at all. The following unusual punishments and people seem exceedingly cruel, but it was an everyday sight of the 16th century (Lestikow).
Villagers were people who enjoyed watching public hanging or events where civilians were physically and mentally abused. “Twisted people” is what they were often called for having pleasure watching people in pain. Sometimes the victims would be cut up and on display, and the villagers would always be there to have the first look. Most the time they did not realize how horrifying this was because it was such a common horror to view in this time period
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A third punishment that used humiliation as a weapon was called the Drunkard 's Cloak. The Drunkard’s Cloak was used for anyone who was caught drunk in public. These people were forced to wear a large barrel around their torso and walk around town. While they were walking, villagers stabbed at them, which would cause the criminal to fall over. There were holes carved into the barrel for the victims hands and head making the weight on their bodies painfully heavy (Alchin).
The fourth exotic torture device was the Iron Boot, or “shin crusher.” Humiliation did not occur in this punishment because the pain was already enough to handle. The offender’s legs were put between spiked metal plates and pressure would increase until they fainted. This device was used when the victim would not give up information wanted from them (“Torture”).
All in all, the Elizabethan Era had endless cruel and rare punishments for the different criminals in both the upper and lower classes. Everyday was filled with countless crimes resulting in terrifying punishments. The most inhuman acts were performed in this time period. It was not a time to make any mistakes because there was no forgiveness, no one will ever understand the minds of the tortures in the
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