The Guillotine

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The Guillotine Doctor Joseph Ignace Guillotin was a man with the right idea during the French Revolution. He lived in a time and place when you never knew when death was coming. Death seemed to be all over the place. Most of the time, in result of how strict their rules were, death came at the hands of an executioner.

During the French Revolution there were quite a few ways of dealing with the guilty. One of them was the act of hanging, most of the time from lampposts on the street. Another means of punishment was to be burned at the stake, which was how Joan of Arc was abruptly killed. Quartering was yet another way to end someone's life for not following their rules. The quartering method involved an excruciatingly painful death by tying the guilty person's ankles and wrists to four horses and spooking them to run in opposite directions, tearing the accused into 5 different pieces.

This was also done while they were still very alive. Yet another way was putting the accused on the rack. This was a very slow and painful way to die. The executioner would use multiple tools of pain to slowly kill the accused. They also used death by drowning, where the unfortunate person was held underwater for long periods of time until they took that last gasp for air and filled their lungs with water instead. After seeing all of this, you can probably say that the judicial system of France wasn't a very kind, and caring system of punishment during this time.

The most used way to execute someone was death by decapitation. But during this time frame, this type of execution was very sloppy and inconsistent. Most of the time, the executioner's ax missed the very unfortunate...