Event Title

Who'e the Fairest Witch of Them All: Storytelling and the Witch Crazes of 16th and 17th Century Europe

Presenter Information

Elisabeth Chee, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Diamond 344

Start Date

30-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2015 2:55 PM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

Witches and witch crazes were a major part of life in sixteenth and seventeenth century life. Large portions of villages and families were wiped out because of accusations with consorting with the devil. This research paper will examine the victims of the witch crazes as well as how they were dealt with. Were there certain traits that seemed to cause more fear in people than others? Another thing that I will examine is why these traits were so terrifying to these people. In preliminary research one of the common threads between victims and many accusers were that they were by and large women. A major question was what would have caused women to accuse other women and how did that effect the way the witch crazes were conducted. Another way to look at the witch crazes is through the popular culture. Witches were a staple of many stories and dramatic works of the time. A question that I will explore is how the representation of witches in the storytelling of the time effect peoples perceptions and actions towards supposed witches. Were the fairy tales part of the cause of these witches crazes or were they something used to perpetuate and spread the fear of the witches? Were people supposed to be scared of or intrigued by the witches of Macbeth? These are major questions to be asked about the ideas of the effects of storytelling in the forms of fairy tales and theater in what we fear and how do we react to that fear in the specific realm of witchcraft.

Faculty Sponsor

Larissa Taylor

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. History Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1583

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Apr 30th, 2:30 PM Apr 30th, 2:55 PM

Who'e the Fairest Witch of Them All: Storytelling and the Witch Crazes of 16th and 17th Century Europe

Diamond 344

Witches and witch crazes were a major part of life in sixteenth and seventeenth century life. Large portions of villages and families were wiped out because of accusations with consorting with the devil. This research paper will examine the victims of the witch crazes as well as how they were dealt with. Were there certain traits that seemed to cause more fear in people than others? Another thing that I will examine is why these traits were so terrifying to these people. In preliminary research one of the common threads between victims and many accusers were that they were by and large women. A major question was what would have caused women to accuse other women and how did that effect the way the witch crazes were conducted. Another way to look at the witch crazes is through the popular culture. Witches were a staple of many stories and dramatic works of the time. A question that I will explore is how the representation of witches in the storytelling of the time effect peoples perceptions and actions towards supposed witches. Were the fairy tales part of the cause of these witches crazes or were they something used to perpetuate and spread the fear of the witches? Were people supposed to be scared of or intrigued by the witches of Macbeth? These are major questions to be asked about the ideas of the effects of storytelling in the forms of fairy tales and theater in what we fear and how do we react to that fear in the specific realm of witchcraft.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/329