Witchcraft Vs Women Analysis

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Firstly, as stated by Julian Goodare in his piece entitled “Women and the witch-hunt in Scotland”, the belief that was forced upon the people stemmed from King James’ belief that women were the frailer sex and as such, were more likely to be seduced by the devil. This has been a reiterated theme for hundreds of years: for example in the biblical story of Adam and Eve, Eve is enticed to eat the apple by the Serpent and tempts Adam as well. Therefore, reiterating the notion that women are the cause of men’s troubles. King James further supports this in Daemonologie when discussing why women are more frequently accused of witchcraft he states “… for as that sexe is frailer then men is, so it is easier to be entrapped in those gross snares of…show more content…
As stated by Levack, 84% of those accused were women. There are a plethora of possible explanations for this, but the one that correlates the best with the Thomas and Jane Weir case is the difference in status held by each gender. However, it was common during this time period that those tried for witchcraft were accused by their neighbours due to four main reasons. these included magical practices, moral deviance, personal temperament, and economic circumstances of the accused. This was stereotypical during the time, but in Thomas’ case he began to feel extreme remorse for his crimes including adultery and incest which led to his declaration to the neighbours of the aforementioned crimes. However, it is crucial to note that his confession did not include witchcraft. It was not until his confession indicted his sister for the crimes as well, which resulted in her confession of witchcraft. This leads the reader to question what occurred during her interrogation that led to her confession of witchcraft? This concept leads back to the concept that the church and the state were linked which led to high levels of religious influence in court proceedings, including interrogations. It was common for people interrogated to confess to crimes of witchcraft, but these people were frequently tortured to meet these ends. Therefore, the fact that it was Jane who confessed to witchcraft steers one to the belief that women were unfairly treated in trials due to their gender
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