Medieval Torture Essay

The English in medieval times, utilized torture to extract information or a confession from a certain person (generally performed on infidels and church priests because of how religion was very important Medieval English society. ) Torturers would torture someone with great skill by preventing the victim to not pass out and receive life-threatening damage but still deal excruciating pain to reach success in the torture. There were a large variety of tortures in medieval England but the particularly successful forms were The Rack, Scavengers Daughter, The Boot, Iron Gauntlet, Thumbscrews, Branding and Mutilation.

English torture was highly effective based how the tortures were used and its success rate. The Boots (or Boot) was simply an iron boot, which the victim inserted their feet and legs into it, whilst the torturer forced segments of wood into the boot. This caused horrific pain to the victim’s legs and feet. The boot was not an expensive torture to perform and was very easy to do without silencing the victim. A strong point about this torture was that the torturer would simultaneously perform other forms of torture on the victim resulting in even more pain to the victim.

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Overall The Boot was highly effective on the victim because the torturer could keep forcing more segments into the Boot until the information or confession was gained. The Iron Gauntlet was basically a glove or cuff applied to the victim’s hands or wrist, and then Tied up followed by slowly being lifted up from the ground. This resulted in the victim suffering tremendous pain from the shoulder joints. Just like The Boot; the torturer would place other tortures on the victim simultaneously, to cause maximum pain, to increase its effectiveness.

The Iron Gauntlet would eventually dislocate the victim’s joints and deplete circulation in the hands, causing them to swell up. Not only was The Iron Gauntlet easy to perform and very painful, you could weigh down the victim by a weight or animal, which adds the extra pain. The different variations on how The Iron Gauntlet could be performed made this form of torture very effective in its time. Thumbscrews were a simple mechanism, which consisted of two horizontal bars slowly tightened to crush the victim’s fingers or toes.

This caused serious pain to victim’s body parts and the torturer could also do many other tortures to the victim concurrently if necessary. The torturer would use more than one thumbscrew at a time to inflict additional pain to the victim. What made Thumbscrews effective and successful was that it could be done to many parts of the body, so the torturer could discover the victim’s most painful area. Branding and mutilation were commonly used as a punishment but still it used for torture.

The torturer would brandy hot metal into any location of the body it happened to be or where it inflicted the most pain. Usually this torture included beating and lashing (mutilation) the victim to cause unbearable pain and physical injury as well as the horrific burns. The one ting that didn’t make this torture effective was that during mutilation, the victim could become unconscious from too much head trauma. Because of how careful the torturer’s were, they were effectively used as a torture and were fairly successful for how they used it.