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What Role Do Human Bodies Play In Roper's Witch Craze?

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Human bodies played a significant role in the hunt for witches and other European religious struggles. Throughout Germany, the concept of witchcraft and the obsession to stop it was at its worst from 1550 to 1650. While older women were famously the targets for accusations of witchcraft, men and children were not exempt from the terror that was the witch hunt. As described in Roper’s Witch Craze, there were multiple known influences on this phenomenon that killed so many, such as religious instability and various aspects of the human experience. One theme that is prevalent is that of women, their bodies and how the two of the aspects influenced the idea of witchcraft and way society attempted to end it. During this time, it was essential for women to be healthy and become mothers while they were still young enough to do so. This need created a sort of negative environment for older women who either hadn’t had children or were unsuccessful in raising them. “People could be inclined to seeing threats to fertility lurking everywhere, and to expect older women to envy the fecund young” (Pg. 8). Themes such as pregnancy, conception and aging of women’s bodies all had in important role in supposedly identifying witches. Witches…show more content…
Variables such as the Reformation, the Thirty Years War, and other religious strife cause a large amount of discord in the country. The struggles between the Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists were intensely driven and resulted in tumultuous beliefs for the common person. The uncertainty of religious beliefs created confusion, and while the concern of witchcraft was gaining prominence, it is easy to understand how fear powered the hysteria behind beliefs held about witches. “Witchcraft raised issues that lay at the heart of religious identity” (Pg.
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