The Discoverie Of Witchcraft By Reginald Scot Analysis
Analysis of Reginald Scot’s The Discoverie of witchcraft.
This essay shall analyse Reginald Scot’s The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) in its historical context and explore sixteenth century attitudes towards witchcraft. Due to Scot’s radical disbelief regarding the nonexistence of witches during a period with copious church interference propagating all supernatural claims, one had a unique opportunity to explore the reasoning behind the study of witch confessions and the community’s role in the empowerment of witchcraft. Therefore, without the biased fear imposed on by the church, Scott is able to depict events in a nonbiased, logical manner.
Scot’s rejection of traditional communal attitudes towards witchcraft can be interpreted as an attack on the church for the encouraging of witchcraft stereotypes, as a means to defend the church from accusations of sexual Lewdness. ‘How in the night …show more content…
Scot deconstructs the condition of being a witch and offers many opinions regarding the effect of witchcraft on the local community and women. Which suggests witchcraft was a by-product of women’s constraint within society. While women were facing every possible negative effect from the witch trials, there were a select few who benefited – those of the church. Bishop Sylvanus escaped a possible rape charge by claiming it was an incubus in the form of himself who had committed the act. Scot, understands the use of torture to acquire a confession is irrational and avidly states they should be disregarded entirely. Unfortunately however, much, if not all of Scot’s opinions were discredited when King James I himself ordered the burning of his books and branded him a