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Torture succeeded in breaking the will of and dehumanizing the prisoner, and justice during the Elizabethan era was served with the aid of this practice.In fact, it was said that Elizabeth I used torture more than any other monarchs in England’s history.In the case of themes like crime and punishment in Shakespeare's plays, we need to take a detailed look at Elizabethan society.
Different Kinds of Elizabethan Era Torture Torture, as far as crime and punishment are concerned, is the employment of physical or mental pain and suffering to extract information or, in most cases, a confession from a person accused of a crime.
While torture seems barbaric, it was used during the Golden Age, what many consider to be that time in history when Elizabeth I sat on the throne and England enjoyed a peaceful and progressive period, and is still used in some cultures today.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, the most common means of Elizabethan era torture included stretching, burning, beating, and drowning (or at least suffocating the person with water).
Torture at that time was used to punish a person for his crimes, intimidate him and the group to which he belongs, gather information, and/or obtain a confession.
Moreover, his dramas are almost always underpinned by topics like transgression, punishment, and retribution.
This fact has called the attention of many Shakespeare readers and students, but the playwright's concern with crime and punishment is not gratuitous.One of these reasons is that Shakespeare was able to write about timeless subjects that have concerned mankind for centuries.Themes like ambition, justice, jealousy, love, family bonds, political intrigues, revenge, deception, and gender identity are frequent topics in Shakespeare's plays.Again, people’s jeers, taunts, and other harassments added to his suffering.He was only taken down when the loss of his strength became apparent, quartered, and pronounced dead.During the Elizabethan era, treason was considered as the worst crime a person could ever commit.Consequently, it was at cases of high treason when torture was strictly and heavily employed.Other heinous crimes – including robbery, rape, and manslaughter – also warranted the use of torture.The degree of torture that was applied was in accordance with the degree of the crime.Mutilation and branding were also popular or standard means of torture.The pillory, a T-shaped wooden frame in which the prisoner placed his hands on the crossbars and his head at the top, sticking out on a hole, was an infamous tool for inflicting torture.