Which historical figures died the best?

Back in the 1690’s a bunch of people were accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. The penalty was various forms of death.

One didn’t have to be green and fly on a broomstick to be accused. Martha Corey did not attend the trials. That was enough. Neither did her husband, Giles.

Charged with witchcraft, Giles’ hands were tied behind his back during the arraignment to prevent any hocus-pocus. If he pleaded guilty, his sons-in-law could not inherit his property. Giles didn’t say a word.

The judge ordered that Giles be crushed with heavier and heavier stones placed on his chest until he entered a plea by either admitting or denying the accusations brought against him. Giles was stripped naked. A board was placed over his body. Rocks were placed on top. More were added. Giles remained mute except to say “more weight” when asked to enter a plea.

One full day passed. Giles tongue was protruding out. The judge took his cane and pushed it back in. Giles responded, “more weight”. Bones were cracking. Giles merely responded again by saying, “more weight”.

Two full days passed. Spectators were horrified. Blood oozed from Giles mouth. When asked to plea, he said in full defiance of his unbearable pain, “more weight”.

On day three, Giles body was mostly crushed. Broken bones and meat were sticking out of his wounds. His last words were the ultimate expression of courage and honor: “more weight”.

The villagers of Salem were so disgusted that the accusations soon stopped, but not until his accuser, John Proctor, was put to death.

Lindy West, “The Witches Are Coming”

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front of our eyes and one one sort of
manifestation of that is although this
predates Trump is that women get called
witches you know as a sort of silencing
tactic a way to silence and discredit us
and then also when a man does crime and
then has like one shred of
accountability or consequence then
suddenly also we are witch hunters
and they are being witch hunters and I
feel like that’s not fair well how come
you get to be a witch when it’s useful
but then we have to be a witch when it’s
bad to be a witch anyway so I’m
reclaiming both which is my right I
don’t see why anyone could get mad at me
cuz like you said it you said I’m a
so fine and you said I’m a witch I’m a
witch hunting you so fine I’m a witch
and I’m hunting you which is it’s like
really satisfying even when you’re very
aware that you have no power to just say
real aggressive things I put time on to

Martha Nussbaum, “The Monarchy of Fear”

Martha Nussbaum discusses her book, “The Monarchy of Fear” at Politics and Prose on 7/9/18.

One of the country’s leading moral philosophers, Nussbaum cuts through the acrimony of today’s political landscape to analyze the Trump era through one simple truth: that the political is always emotional. Starting there, she shows how globalization has produced feelings of powerlessness that have in turn fed resentment and blame. These have erupted into hostility against immigrants, women, Muslims, people of color, and cultural elites. Drawing on examples from ancient Greece to Hamilton, Nussbaum shows how anger and fear inflame people on both the left and right; by illuminating the powerful role these passions play in public life, she points to ways we can avoid getting caught up in the vitriol that sustains and perpetuates divisive politics.