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Why did Menocchio die (in The Cheese and the Worms) - Essay Example

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In the book, Ginzburg painted the picture of the sixteenth century Italy and presented a milieu of Mennocchio’s cosmos by relating how he…
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Why did Menocchio die (in The Cheese and the Worms)
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Download file to see previous pages He also regarded himself as holding occupations as a “carpenter, sawyer, mason and other things.”1 What made this miller extraordinary were his unique ideas which a typical man, uneducated and of lowly status as he was, does not usually possess. He claimed that he has an “artful mind” that wanted to seek out higher things that he did not know.2 His extraordinary ideas were the fusion of the ideology derived from his great passion for reading books, especially those that were highly prohibited during his time.
The wide circulation of different types of publications and the Roman Catholic Reformation had become catalysts in the formulation of Mennocchio’s belief. The invention of the printing press, which was a significant historical event in Mennocchio’s time had facilitated the publishing of new books and their distribution to the society. This in turn, led to the influx of books and other publications, which reached even the common man like Menocchio.3 The easy access to these sources of new information made knowledge readily available to the people in almost all social classes. Menocchio shared and loaned books with his friends in the village and gained a vast array of new knowledge, as he was always absorbed in reading.4
This new knowledge became a threat to Mennocchio’s life as his new ideology went beyond what the society could and was willing to accept, especially the religious authorities. His voracity for reading had established extremely radical religious philosophies, which were lifted from the books that were prohibited by the priests to be ingested by common individuals. He communicated his opposition to the village, which caused a stir and confusion among them. He was branded as a heretic and was brought to court for inquisition. The court found him guilty of heresy and was punished by lifetime imprisonment. However, he did not stay long in the prison. Three years after, he had convinced the authorities that he had changed. He was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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