Urbain Grandier

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They also provide differing possibilities for actors and directors who attempt to represent the past in film. In looking below at a science from Ken Russell's film, The Devils , what interpretation seems evident in Oliver Reed's portrayal? Public display of guilt, regret, and humiliation back to top. The court hereby orders that "to make an honorable expression of regret, his head bare, a rope round his neck, holding in his hand a burning taper weighing two pounds, before the principal door of the church of St.

Ursula of [Loudon]" Sentence cited by Robbins, La question ordinaire et extraordinaire. Judicial torture to extract a confession and the names of accomplices back to top. Public, exemplary punishment reserved for heretics and witches and designed to inspire fear back to top. Further punishment for a high crimes against God and the State back to top. These and other legal irregularities--including the forging of evidence by the Devil himself--are open to a variety of interpretations, depending upon one's point of view. The Court. Russell , The Devils, In the Next Fear of Damnation.

The Accused. Dorellana rated it it was amazing Feb 05, Yve McConnon rated it it was ok Apr 03, Faran rated it really liked it Apr 21, Mary Grace rated it liked it Oct 14, Dan rated it liked it Jan 21, Victor Cioban rated it it was amazing Feb 15, Martha marked it as to-read May 27, Bel Glez marked it as to-read Dec 04, Emma marked it as to-read Dec 22, Yinzadi marked it as to-read Apr 08, Buster marked it as to-read Apr 26, Apple Austria marked it as to-read May 13, Darren marked it as to-read Jun 05, Alexandra Dumas marked it as to-read Jun 11, Alison marked it as to-read Jul 27, Scott marked it as to-read Oct 23, Assem Malika marked it as to-read Feb 10, Ella Patricia marked it as to-read Jun 15, Phyllis marked it as to-read Nov 08, Jae Hong marked it as to-read Dec 08, Ruth marked it as to-read Dec 28, Thay marked it as to-read Jan 06, Jim Robertson added it Nov 18, Ahmed H.

Mansour marked it as to-read Nov 28, Pat Winter marked it as to-read Apr 27, Walter Mendoza marked it as to-read May 01, Jennifer added it Jun 24, Allie Winch marked it as to-read Nov 11, When Grandier got wind of the goings on, he shrugged them off as ridiculous; until they kept going on, and he was compelled to get involved. He insisted he be allowed to address the demons himself, and when he did, he quickly uncovered the specious nature of the possessions, not least because the demons could not speak Latin.

According to Church law, demons could, at will, speak all known languages; however, it was clear that the demons of Loudun were unable to conjugate Latin verbs, let alone speak Hebrew or Welsh. For Grandier, this was the last straw; his accusers had gone too far, and he demanded the authorities get involved.

They did, and, after a thorough investigation, the possessions were deemed bogus, and Grandier was exonerated.

The avenue of civil authority may have been closed to them, but they still had the church. So, in a move that would prove fatal for Grandier, they went straight to the top; and, at the top, was none other than Cardinal Richelieu. Still licking his pus ridden wound from yonks ago, Richelieu was more than happy to oblige the conspirators.

A new trial was ordered, wherein reason was exiled, and all hope for Grandier was lost.

Urbain Grandier

Sister Jeanne and the nuns did not take part in the new trial; indeed, they recanted their previous statements, claiming they had made it all up. Sister Jeanne suffered terribly for her part in the whole debacle rightly so , until guilt-ridden and unable to live with the consequences of her wicked game, she tried to hang herself from a tree in the Abbey; narrowly surviving due to the lifesaving actions of her fellow nuns.


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The parameters of the new trial belonged to the preceding centuries, and were based, not on law, but on the Malleus Maleficarum — the medieval how-to-manual for identifying and punishing witches. To do so, Grandier was stripped and a pricker was called. But not before he was maliciously tortured. Torturing convicted witches was standard practice — as laid out in the Malleus Maleficarum lit.

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Hammer of Witches — the impetus for which was twofold:. Grandier was sentenced to the extraordinary torture, also called, brodequins; a torture so catastrophic, the victim invariably died within a few days of undergoing it as such, it was only meted out to those condemned to death. By the 8th, his legs were as flat as the boards they were tied to. Far from confessing to witchcraft, let alone implicating other people, Grandier, in-between bouts of unconsciousness, his eyes lit with anguish, maintained his innocence and prayed prayers so earnest and so true, some of those present were visibly moved.

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His legs now a useless mass of pulp and gristle, Grandier was placed in a small cart and pushed to the place of his execution: a pyre in the town square. Originally condemned to be hanged and his body burned, the executioner decided it would make for a better spectacle to burn him alive — a spectacle the whole town had turned out to watch.

Unable to stand, Grandier was affixed to the post with a metal hoop. He then hung his head on his chest and died. But, once all the hoopla had died down, it was understood by most that a travesty had occurred. That we can hear it and be aghast at how paranoid and superstitious people used to be, and marvel at how far we have come in our understanding of the world. The truth is, when it comes to shedding innocent blood, and calling it good, we are still at it.

We point our finger at that which we fear will destroy us, and declare we have the right to destroy it first; not realizing the real danger to our survival lies not in external forces, but in that which is within us: our greed and our fear and our will to power.

When tortured far beyond all limits of endurance, when harassed and humiliated, slickened by cruelty, and set alight in malicious hate, Grandier did not give in to the darkness, but opened himself to the light. His enemies may have mangled his body, but they could not mangle his soul; moreover, in a crucible of unimaginable terror, he died with his faith intact.

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Instead, he asked God to forgive them; knowing they lacked true understanding of what they were doing: that it was not he they were destroying; but themselves; and for that, Grandier, in his own torment, looked upon them, not with hatred, but with compassion.

Ruiz, Prof. Teofilo F. Rebecca is a painter, collage artist and writer. She has a degree in Religious Studies and is passionate about religious history, philosophy and esoteric goings on. Her favourite research topic is peculiar religious figures; those people who, through their devotion and vision of the divine, challenged the religious establishments to which they belonged, sometimes being crushed by those establishments, other times irrevocably changing them.