Cotton Mather's 'The Wonders of the Invisible World' and witchcraft in Salem
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, course: Proseminar: Imagining America: 17th Century American Literature, 8 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 represent a cruel part of New England history. Twenty people were killed after they were accused of being witches or wizards. Dozens were imprisoned. One of the key figures today around the trials is Cotton Mather. Although he was not directly involved in accusing or judging the people, he wrote a book about the trials, called The Wonders of the Invisible World. In this book, he listed the different indicators about how to discover someone practicing witchcraft. This essay will concern Cotton Mather's arguments concerning witchcraft, their origin, and his theories about their treatment. The trials in Salem will play an essential part, because the practices during the trials show how witchcraft was proved then, regardless of the guilt of the accused. It was impossible for an accused person to escape punishment in Salem and Mather's and his colleagues arguments served as additional justification for killing innocent people in Salem.
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