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Devil in the Shape of a Woman

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Essay title: Devil in the Shape of a Woman

"Devil in the Shape of a Woman"

In the mid 1600's witchcraft was something many were fearful of. The thought of a person in league with the devil in early Massachusetts was something that everyone of the time thought about. The main group of people who were thought to be witches, were women between the ages of thirty-six through sixty-plus. Some of the accusations were set forth for many different reasons, such as the belief that the devil work through inferior beings or the power hungry. Those discontent with the way life was for them also were at a high risk for accusations of witchcraft. In all when something went wrong anywhere, the person closest to the mishap was the one thought to be a witch.

Many women died because people were jealous of the things that these women had. The single women where considered because they would reject a man they didn't want to marry. In return the man would then slander the name of the woman to accuse her of witchcraft, and this would lead to her trial. The men could also be jealous of the land left her by her husband or the livestock she owned, this in return would also led to a person slandering her. No one really knew if witches were real but when someone says something that sounds like it could happen. They would believe it because they believed that their community was "the city on the hill". Whenever illness swept through the community a liaison of the devil was thought to be at hand even when the illness was something simple like scurvy or the flu. If a woman was to administer some herbal medicine and the person was to die because of the illness or the medicine, she was considered at fault and a handmaiden of the devil.

A large group of the people executed for being a witch, were accused just because someone else didn't want to take the rap for something they did. So if a man killed one of his own animals or worst one of his children, he would claim it was the work of the devil. The older a woman was the more submissive she was likely to be.

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