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Off with Their Heads!

  • Date Submitted: 12/09/2013 09:37 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67 
  • Words: 996
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Kelsey Mayle
ENG 111
Off With Their Heads!
“The French Revolution gave birth to no artists but only to a great journalist, Desmoulins, and to an under-the-counter writer, Sade. The only poet of the times was the guillotine.” Albert Camus wrote in his essay titled The Rebel. He refers to this harrowing machine as something comparable to an individual, who can conjure up the most immaculate pieces of poetry. Despite that, the guillotine was not an admirable invention. Instead it was the reason the streets of France was tainted by the crimson blood that once ran through the veins of those who faced its blade.
Doctor Joseph-Ignace Guillotine was not the man who invented the guillotine, nor was he prepared for the malicious ways it was used for; instead he was a lobbyist who stood by such a device, compared to other methods of execution at the time which were far more gruesome than a swift blade to one’s throat. Those other methods included boiling a prisoner to death in oil, dismembering a convict (Often performed by attaching the limbs of a person by tying them to separate large animals and having them run in separate directions to avulse the limbs from their body.), or placing a victim on a rotating wheel and allowing people to savagely strike the defenseless person with a multitude of weapons. (Crime Museum) The machine itself was built by the secretary of the Academy of Surgeons, Antoine Louis, and a mechanic named Schmidt. The name was associated with Dr. Guillotine thanks to his proposal, that a device would be implemented that made the death penalty equal for those guilty of various crimes and would allow each and every individual the same chance at a quick and painless death. The other option considered to be a humane form of execution at the time was hangings. The process of killing a criminal by hanging was slightly deterred, knowing that it did not guarantee an instant death each and every time. When a victim is hanged the goal is the have the fall...

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