Michel de Montaigne | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of Michel de Montaigne.
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SOURCE: Morrison, Ian R. “Montaigne and Torture in Criminal Justice.” French Studies Bulletin 58 (spring 1996): 9-10.

In the essay below, Morrison explains Montaigne's rejection of torture as part of the execution process and his limited acceptance of torture as a means of interrogation.

Many scholars have described Montaigne's general hostility to torture. Some have also noted a distinction, in criminal matters, between two uses of torture: in executing the convicted, and in interrogating accused persons on trial.1 This note concerns the divergence between Montaigne's views on these two uses.

As of the 1580 Essais, he rejects painful execution as ‘pure cruauté’, and denies its deterrent value: a man not stopped by fear of beheading or hanging, will not be ‘empesché par l'imagination … des tenailles, ou de la roue’ (ii, 27, 700-01).2 Later additions underscore this rejection.

On the other hand, he initially accepts interrogatory torture, albeit warily. The issue is considered...

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This section contains 1,117 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ian R. Morrison
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