Year: 2006 Source: Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, v.32, no.1, (2006), p.141-166 SIEC No: 20070461

The goal of this article is to determine which image, that of mad, possessed women driven to suicide versus the meek, well-mannered woman who spurned physical violence, held more sway among jurors in medieval England with the broader aim of obtaining a clearer understanding of the perceived relationship between women, violence, & the devil. The first section of the article addresses statistics, the second section examines medieval jurors & the quality of their mercy, & the last section turns to the more typical verdict handed down by jurors in an attempt to answer whether jurors were more or less inclined to see female suicide victims as deserving of harsh verdicts. (42 refs.)