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An Essay About Witchcraft, Witches and Superstitions

Were people in the past really stupid for believing in witchcraft?

Nowadays many people tend to make fun of, or doubt, the way men and woman in the past believed in witches. People now dress up for Halloween. When the play Macbeth was performed in Shakespeare's time, the audience knew instantly that the three people at the beginning were witches because of what they were wearing and how they spoke. Nowadays directors must find another way of showing that certain characters are witches. If they dressed the same as the people in Shakespeare's time people might laugh because their opinion of witchcraft is different today.
However, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many people took witchcraft seriously. Books and handbills from the time tell us that many people were very scared of witches and what witches could do to them and their families.

Between the years 1560 and 1709. hundreds of witch trials took place which resulted in many innocent people being hung or drowned. Accusations of witchcraft began with an animal dying in a strange manner, gossip or children becoming ill or dying. An example of animals dying starting accusations of witchcraft is. when a man who lived near Mr and Mrs Castle had 3 cows die in the space of 3 weeks, this began accusations that Elizabeth Castle was a witch. Today we would simply say that this was due to a disease.

An example of gossip starting accusations of witchcraft is when, Elizabeth Castle said that two men, George Clarke and Clement Courte were worthless. This angered many people and again started rumors that Elizabeth Castle was a witch.

One young boy was taken ill and eventually he died. Soon after this two other boys were taken ill with similar symptoms but after lots of treatment the boys recovered. Later on people began to accuse Elizabeth Castle of making the children ill. This is an example of children becoming ill or dying starting accusations of witchcraft. Nowadays we would say that this was an illness. also there is no proof that they had the same illness.




An Essay About Witchcraft, Witches and Superstitions


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