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Essay/Term paper: The art of torture

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on History: The Art Of Torture, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

Going by the title of this paper you are probably asking yourself "How in

God"s name can torture be seen as an art, were these people mentally ill?"

well it was, but I talk about that later, let me tell you a little about the

history of torture. Torture has been around since the times of Ancient Greece

and is still around today, usually in the Mafia. Other than the mob, torture

isn"t very common in our society. Punishments aren"t near as harsh as they

used to be back in medieval times. The only punishments we have now are jails,

the punishments there were in medieval times were numerous and downright inhuman.

Torture would keep criminal from doing something wrong again, assuming he lived

through the torture. The punishments we have today are laughable and dumb.

Big deal, you are thrown in prison for a few years, you don"t suffer one bit,

but to the inmates, being thrown on a chain gang is so terrible. Being given

hundreds of paper cuts and being rolled in salt, now that"s terrible and I"m

sure the convi

ct will never break the law again. Places like Singapore still

operate like this. It happened to that one teen who decided to spraypaint some

cars. He thought he could get away with it and he almost did, but he shortly

found out that he had a little pay-back coming to him. The kid was caned, and

he hasn"t done anything dumb since. Torture like this works, torture is a way

that can really make you have second thoughts before you do anything stupid.



Torture was practiced in numerous ancient civilizations. Convicts and war

prisoners were put to death by using torture to give them a slow, humiliating

death. To some American Indian tribes, it is a custom to torment and burn prisoners.

Crucifixion was a popular torture technique in ancient Rome. Rome also used

torture to get slaves, criminals, just about anybody, to get them to talk about

secretive information. You see in these ancient Roman times, people were given

information and were told that they should never tell this information to no

one, well the Romans found out about this and this caused a major uprise in

the use of torture.

In 12th century Europe torture became very widespread

like it had just did in Rome. Before Europe began using torture, they relied

on a more common judicial type of settlements for crimes, by the 13th century

confessions and eyewitness testimonies came about and were used to determine

if a person were guilty or innocent. But guess what was used to get these confessions

from convicts, torture was used, torture was used a lot, but it could only

be used if there was a numerous amount of evidence against the defendent. From

the 14th to 18th centuries in Europe, torture was a very common thing of the

legal process of a majority of the European countries and even the Roman Catholic

church.

The Roman Catholic church used torture as a way of punishing

heretics at the order of inquisitors. The Inquisition played a big part in

the world of torture. The inquisition was a church founded in medieval times

that was setup to find and prosecute heretics. The punishments for being a

heretic were extreme punishments, stuff you would cringe at thinking about,

such as the vise. You might have seen this device on the movie Casino. The

victims head would be put in the vise and then the executioner would begin

to tighten a little screw at the top of the vice, causing the victims head

to start to compress. This technique was used a lot for getting people to confess.

The Inquisition was greatly defended during the middle ages. People saw it

as okay, since it was a religious thing. Father Saint Augustine perceived Luke

14:23; "So the master said to the servant, Go out to the country roads and

lanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full.", as biblical

proof of endorsing the punishment of heret

ics.



The Art of Torture:





Believe it or not, torture was considered an artform. Were these people

desperate for entertainment, though I would never see a person getting tortured

as entertaining (unless it was a few of my most despised teachers, your not

one Ms.Blohm) but some messed-up indivduals did. In the words of Victor Hugo,

"The guillotine is the ultimate expression of Law, and it"s name is vengence".

The executioner, in the theatre of the guillotine, has a very special role.

He is the first one to walk on stage and that last one to walk off. The executioner

is the only permanent member after he and the victim end their very short uneasy

relationship, as he releases the rope.

The guillotine was one of the most

popular spectacles to the people in the Middle Ages. The decapitation of the

enemies of the people was used as celebrating. Some people saw the guillotine

as too quick to be dramatic, so they made up for that by the way they would

bring up the victims to the stage where the guillotine standed tall in all

it"s gory glory. The victims were usually aristocrats, the people would sing

and dance while the soon-to-be-dead rich guy was escorted by the man who would

end his life. People took pleasure in seeing the "ultimate law enforcement

device" in action.

These people really took executions seriously, and

would go crazy if anything would malfunction during the execution. For instance

the story of Chalier, a man who constantly threatened the bourgeoisie of Lyons.

A brand new guillotine was going to be used on Charlier. The new machine wasn"t

set up properly causing the guillotine huge blade to slowly slide down to Charlier"s

neck. Three attempts later did nothing but deepen the cut on his neck. Ripert,

the executioner had to get the job done by using a knife and since Charlier

was a bald man, he had to hold up the head by the ears instead of the hair.

This grotesque scene of death led to the execution of the executioner and his

assistant. Back then you were killed for not killing the correct way.



The

Tools of Medieval Torture:



The tools used for torture range from completely

pointless and humorous to flat out excruciating. Some tools were used to embarrass

while others were to severly punish people and others were to torture a person

with classified information to the point of pain where the victim would just

lie so that his misery would end.

The Iron mask was an iron mask that

was bolted shut. The mask usually displayed the face of something funny, like

a pig or boar. You had to sleep, eat, and walk around with this iron pig face

stuck to your head. This wasn"t really torture, it was usually used for people

that talked to much or compained about society. The Nags Bridle was a device

that was locked over peoples mouths to prevent them from talking, if the person

still talked, it was removed and replaced with one that had spikes all around

the mouth area. This wasn"t really a light torture but it was a lot lighter

than others such as the Pears, needles, thumbscrew, bamboo, and Painful cuts

tortures, these tortures were used to just plain hurt.

Pears were pear-shaped

metal objects that were inserted in the victims mouth and the victims anus.

After the device was in place, a screw at the top of the Pear could be turned,

causing the Pear to open up. The needle torture was very, very painful. Huge

needles were pierced through certain parts of your body and left there. The

executioner would leave after this. The unknowing victim might try to remove

the needles which was very, very dumb. You see, in the needle torture, every

single time you moved muscle tissue began to rip, even if you moved just an

inch or two. The thumbscrew was a very popular technique that used for getting

people to talk. The victims thumbs were placed on the device and tightened

like a vise. The victims thumbs would be crushed until he or she would say

what they were hiding. The bamboo torture is like was done to torture POW"s

in Vietnam. Bamboo reeds are shoved under your finger nails, after a while

you get used to the throbbing pain, until you figure out that the bamboo start

s

to grow. You see, bamboo can use body fluids to grow, imagine a bamboo reed

growing all the way to your wrist then being yanked out. The Painful cuts torture

is a very crude one like the bamboo torture. The executioner would give the

victim paper cuts all over his or her body, then the executioner would pickup

the victim and roll him or her in salt. The shock of pain sometimes killed

some of the victims. Now to execution, the torture to the death, a slow death.



The Ordeal of Three is one of the most gruesome and least known of all tortures.

The victim is cut open, then a Gila monster, a live Gila monster is sewn inside

the victim. The carcass of a dead buffalo is opened up and the victim is placed

inside, sewn in, and left to die. The Hook is another gruesome torture in which

the victim is impaled on a hook and hung for everyone to see. The Spanish Horse

is one the nastiest ways to die. A spiked pole pushed into the anus of the

victim and then standed up. The victim dies of being impaled by his or her

own body weight. The Columbian Necktie is what this torture technique is called

now. The Columbian Necktie is when the victim throat is slit open and the tongue

of the victim is pulled through the opening. This is one of the few tortures

still used today, this technique is usually used by mobs.

To conclude

this paper on the history, art, and tools of medieval torture, all I can say

is that the Middle Ages were a time were crime was not tolerated. Punishments

were sever and done to keep a criminal from ever breaking the law again. This

use of severe punishments worked unlike the legal system of today where criminals

are living a better life in prison than most of the poor are living. Prisoners

just go back to what they were doing after they are released from prison, and

they usually end up back in prison. Not too many criminals in the Middle Ages

were dumb enough to go out and break the law after being tortured, there was

no prison were they could spend years in, torture was a fast and effective

way of showing a criminal to never ever break the law again. "Torture, one

of the few legal systems that worked".



B I B L I O G R A P H Y



The Gullotine

and the Terror, Arasse, Daniel.1987 Penguin Press.

The Executioner's Homepage,

http://www.luh.K12.ca.us/%7Ebg659808/torture.html

and ID Software at http://www.idsoftware.com,

for the cool picture. 

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