When the plague first reached Europe, people panicked. In hopes of survival, many began to abandon what they had and moved to villages and country sides in hope of fleeing from the disease. “Children abandoned the father, husband abandoned the wife, wife the husband, one brother the other, one sister the other…. Some fled to villas, others to villages in order to get a change in air. Where there had been no [plague], there they carried it; if it was already there, they caused it to increase” (Zahler 45). The horror that people in Europe were feeling was traumatic to their state of mind. People often left those who they cared about to fend for themselves. Since the cities were more populated, those who left for the country carried the disease with them and infected those who previously lived on the countryside. The Black Death created a race for survival and all were playing.
As they continued to run from the plague, the people of Europe felt that they needed to blame someone for causing the outrage. At this time in history, Christians persecuted Jews in Europe and blamed them for bad luck and even bad weather. “As the plague attacked, whispers immediately started about poisonings of wells and of the air by Jews” (Jordan 63). The European Christian’s of the time were racist towards the Jews. The Jews were forbidden to work in government and were shunned from the towns. This forced them to live on the outskirts of town in places called ghettos. Because of their isolation, the plague did not reach them immediately. Since they were not getting sick, the people automatically assumed the Jews were poisoning their wells as payback for their isolation. The Jews were thought to be irrational and were thought of as scapegoats. However, once the Jews began to fall sick from the plague as well, people began to show their responses in other ways.
Artists and musicians of the time became dark and seemingly depressed. Before the plague, the music was up-beat and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document