Witch Burning in the 14th Century was completely pointless - discuss.

Witch Burning in the 14th Century was completely pointless - discuss.

A Story by Aimee Mahathy

Harry Potter anyone? lol This is an essay assignment for Hogwarts Online. :D

Witch burning in the fourteenth century was completely and utterly pointless. I am all for not labeling muggles as "stupid" simply because they are non-magical folk. However! A vast majority of these so-called "witches" weren't even that!

Muggles have needed, for a long time and perhaps for all time, some label to help them fight that which they do not (or can not) comprehend. And as, praise Merlin, they have not an inkling of the ins and outs of magical society, they adopted the term "witch" to apply to those who were different from them.

The fourteenth century was a very superstitious time for the world as a whole. Science was deemed heresy, and anything against the muggle church was taken for "witchcraft". Without science, they had only nature and overactive imaginations to rely on for their truths and laws.

Simple things, such as being seen holding a broom or cooking a stew in a cauldron would be more or less a death sentence. Nevermind the fact that nearly every self-respecting towns-person with a few coins in their pocket had brooms and cauldrons! These people were different in their beliefs (or simply disliked) and so those pious muggles would point their fingers and hark "Witch! Witch!" as a way to ease their troubles. The label served as a viable excuse to doom these folks who made the general public nervous. Most of the time, these finger-pointers had no clue who these innocent people were. They were only interested in directing the attention and blame away from themselves.

When the rabble wasn't especially blood-thirsty, they would be gracious enough to hold a trial for the accused. And as pointless as witch-burning was, these trials may have been more-so. In the case of a trial being held, the accused would be supposed as guilty until they could prove themselves innocent. That seems easy enough, right? Wrong. Any friends or family of the "witch" could not testify on their behalf. Even if they could, anyone speaking for the "witch" would be accused of being in league with them.

Anything and everything was used against them to further prove their guilt. A simple act of gossiping could send one to the sparking embers. Even if that "gossip" was merely telling your neighbor that your cousin Jeff had gotten a new cat! And though they wasted their time with these trials, one witch was eventually proven innocent. However, she was thrown in a river to further "prove" her innocence. The defining factor was if she would surface un-drowned. She didn't.

One legendary witch, while not given any trials, was captured almost as a sport. Her name was Wendelin the Weird and she was quite unlike those unfortunate muggles who were wrongly accused. It's likely that the frightened muggles hadn't a clue what to do when faced with a real witch! She was truly a mastermind. It is under debate whether she simply enjoyed the act of being burned, or if she just wanted to have a laugh at their folly. Either way, she willingly allowed herself to be captured and burned a whopping forty-seven times! Of course, she donned various disguises to trick her captors into thinking they were making real progress. No, it isn't nearly as horrific as you'd think. Wendelin cheekily casted a flame-freezing charm, and instead of suffering a crispy death, would merely be tickled wherever a flame touched.

And I feel that nothing sums up the futility of witch burning in the fourteenth century than Wendelin herself. The muggles were at war with their ignorance in that time. Thousands of innocents died for their fear, and the following centuries proved that they had learned nothing from their massacre. But Wendelin, the fact that one real witch could be at play whilst the muggles were foaming at their mouths proves that nothing (neither good, nor bad) came from these burnings. And that lack of any effect is the epitome and underline of pointlessness.

© 2010 Aimee Mahathy

Author's Note

Aimee Mahathy
So really, I claim no talent in this. I just thought it was funny since it's for a Harry Potter roleplaying website! :D Really, HOL is awesome! Ravenclaw for the win!
And also, I fail at essay writing XD

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Added on September 9, 2010
Last Updated on September 9, 2010
Tags: humour, harry potter, hogwarts, essay, witches, burning, 14th century
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Aimee Mahathy
Aimee Mahathy

Bloomington, IL

I'm 33 now, much more settled into myself, and getting back to it again. The previous about me is gonna stay for now, since it's still somewhat accurate and I need some time to figure out what to say .. more..