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Monstrous criminals

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What could be done to persuade the consumers of popular literature that the crimes or criminals they read about were truly monstrous? A sub-section of the English material reflects the nineteenth-century fascination with the idea of a human being who is not simply horrific in behaviour, but is a freak of nature. Man may be revealed as some dreadful combination of human and animal tendencies – a fantasy that clearly attracted by its very horror. As such his behaviour could not be expected to be human or civilized.
By contrast, the presence of monstrosity in Spanish texts largely took the form of terrible fates awaiting those whose crimes were thought to be particularly outrageous. The wrongdoings in question may simply have been contraventions of a moral or religious code, but were still enough to bring down retribution in a physically monstrous form. The wrongdoer was sometimes ripped apart by animals, or eaten by demons, or depicted suffering torments in the afterlife.