Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Axe or Guillotine: That is the Question

If you had to have your head whacked off, would you rather have an axe like Charles I of England or the guillotine like Louis XVI? Just wondering. Usually the guillotine is better than an axe. It took a few whacks with the axe to behead Mary Queen of Scots. But I suppose the guillotine tech could be sleeping on his job too and neglect to sharpen the blade once in a while. Joseph Guillotine's invention was a product of the Enlightenment era, as he intended his new device to be cleaner, quicker, and more humane as a method of killing. Moreover, commoners and nobles alike would be able to use it. Back in the day, commoners were hanged and nobles were axed. Tis nobler to suffer from the axe, evidently. 

Check out Robespierre to the right decapitating some poor sap who purportedly was a counter-revolutionary.  The artist has him trampling on the founding principles of the French Revolution.  Naughty Max was hoisted by his own petard in 1794.  Not being a noble himself, he was able to enjoy the fruits of the Enlightenment.  I suppose this subject is not a pleasant one, but it might pay off to think about it.  I mean, if you're given the choice you'd want to have your answer ready.