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Lecture

EN3170LectureMarch2.docx

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Department
English
Course
EN 3170
Professor
Peter Paolucci
Semester
Winter

Description
Witches March 2  A. E. Green speaks of "a coherent and systematic ideology shared by princes, bishops and peasants alike" and the creation of an "orthodoxy of demonology."  A DISCOURSE of demoniac supernaturalism became conflated with a DISCOURSE of misogyny. This discourse was accompanied by: 1. A predictable lexis [Tagcrowd] 2. Predictable kinds of evidence [topoii] 3. A predictable set of self-contradictory assumptions  Like vampires, witches had a historical and biographical background, and then it was worked into literature  All of the evils of the devil are 'placed' over the female body, and it becomes a meaning that women are the devil/evil; in the Malleus, they can't explain good women, except by saying they are the exception; it argues that even good women are more susceptible to becoming perverse (meaning she had independent thought)  *History, philosophy and literature are all imaginative activities  The Malleus was commissioned because people were terrified by the amount of pagan activity in the countryside  "Heathen" - a person who is ungodly, uncultured, barbaric, of the heath (the country)  Rather than get rid of pagan practices, the pagan practices adopted some of the Romans' and Catholics' practices; e.g. Easter=Aestre, a pagan goddess of fertility..."we want you to celebrate the birth and death of Jesus" "OK, we'll do that and celebrate our own holiday too"; formed new religion  Hags - keeper of sacred knowledge; the twisting of that term came from the desire to stop the hags from easing pregnant women's pain in childbirth - this was thought to be in direct disobedience to God's punishment for Eve (and all women - to give birth in great pain)  3 female bodily functions women cannot control - menstruation, gestation and lactation; when the male has the same lack of control over his penis, he blames a witch  2 unknowns - the devil/supernatural and the other (the female - not only unknown, but also unknowable); there is a third unknown for the Roman Catholic mind - Jews...; occasionally there were a few males who spoke out against the stupidity of the witch trials - there was one case in which they broke both of a man's legs and he had to crawl into the countryside to get medical attention...he never walked again  Heresy - opinion; if you vary, you're a heretic; if you deny witches exist, you're a heretic...if
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