Thesis: During the 16th century, witches were persecuted and killed in various witch trials, accused of unexplainable events, and were seen as followers and servants of the Devil by the common public.
Topic Sentence: Out of fear for witches cursing them, people held witch trials, which consisted of torturing the presumed witch until they confessed to the act.
Quote 1: “From the early decades of the 14th century until 1650, continental Europeans executed between 200,000 and 500,000 witches?the character and timing of these executions and the persecutions which preceded them were determined in part by changed objectives of the Inquisition” (Nachman 1).
Quote 2: “Accused witches would have their thumbs screwed tight in iron vises, their legs crushed until the bones were reduced to pulp, and their bodies hung by their wrists from the ceiling in order to make them confess to harmful magic and the worship of the Devil” (Rose 1).
Concluding Sentence: ‘Witches’ were needlessly tortured out of fear, and this also led to people blaming witches for their misfortunes.
Topic Sentence: Because of the witches’ negative stigma, they were often held accountable for unexplainable or misfortunate events.
Quote 1: “The notion of a conspiracy of plague-spreaders greatly influenced the later idea of a diabolical organization of witches. The plague represented one of the first instances where persecutors were confronting the idea of a secret evil conspiracy” (Christian 14).
Quote 2: “When people died from terrible diseases, when animals died, when there was a bad harvest, when houses were burnt down in fires even when foods curdled – witches were the obvious targets” (Witchcraft 1).
Concluding Sentence: Although witches were thought to curse and bring unfortunate events upon people, they were also thought to be servants of the Devil.
Topic Sentence: With the superstition of witches spreading throughout Europe, rumors and beliefs spread that witches made deals with the Devil in exchange for their magic.
Quote 1: “Witches were accused of having made an explicit, face-to-face pact with the Devil, by which they allegedly promised to serve him as their god in return for the power to inflict magical harm” (Rose 1).
Quote 2: The use of herbs and plants… were used for medical purposes. As the fear for witches increased in Europe the Catholic Church included its definition of witchcraft: anyone with knowledge of herbs as those who used herbs for cures did so only through a pact with the Devil, either explicit or implicit” (Witchcraft 1).
Concluding Sentence: Europeans believed that witches were servants and worshippers of the Devil, allowing the witches to curse anyone they liked.
Concluding Thought: Witches played a large role in Elizabethan superstition, and were a defining characteristic of that time period. While witches may all be superstition, their impact on Europe during the Elizabethan time period was not because witchcraft altered the culture and people, which developed the continent as a whole.
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