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Thinking Allegory Otherwise$
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Brenda Machosky

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804763806

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804763806.001.0001

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Memories and Allegories of the Death Penalty

Memories and Allegories of the Death Penalty

Back to the Medieval Future?

(p.37) Two Memories and Allegories of the Death Penalty
Thinking Allegory Otherwise

Jody Enders

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the performance of the law in France during the medieval period and how allegory was embedded in the performance of capital punishment. It argues that the death penalty, especially in its medieval performances, is a supremely allegorical event in which criminals become signs of themselves, literally and allegorically. Death penalty victims who stage their own death allegorize themselves. The chapter also discusses the significance of the modern tendency to hide the images of a justice that imposes death. Its realizations about the performative executions of the past highlight the darkened allegory that haunts the practice of capital punishment until today.

Keywords:   allegory, law, France, capital punishment, death penalty, criminals, justice, medieval period, executions

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