Salem witch trials | Literature Criticism Linnda R. Caporael

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of Salem witch trials.
This section contains 6,620 words
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Linnda R. Caporael

SOURCE: "Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem?" in Science, Vol. 192, No. 4234, April 2, 1976, pp. 21–6.

In the following excerpt, Caporael suggests that convulsive ergotism (an illness caused by a rye fungus) may have initiated and furthered the Salem witchcraft delusion.

Numerous hypotheses have been devised to explain the occurrence of the Salem witchcraft trials in 1692, yet a sense of bewilderment and doubt pervades most of the historical perspectives on the subject. The physical afflictions of the accusing girls and the imagery of the testimony offered at the trials seem to defy rational explanation. A large portion of the testimony, therefore, is dismissed as imaginary in foundation. One avenue of understanding that has yet to be sufficiently explored is that a physiological condition, unrecognized at the time, may have been a factor in the Salem incident. Assuming that the content of the court...

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This section contains 6,620 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Linnda R. Caporael