Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Each individual has a set of moral convictions that may guide their actions and spoken thoughts throughout life. This conglomeration of beliefs can be viewed as the honor each individual wants to portray to others. Obviously, these beliefs will differ depending on many variables including gender and class. In the violent cases of "The Abbot's Assassins" and "Agostino Bonamore and the Secret Pigeon," the people in each trial had their own motivations behind what they said and did. Maintaining honor is the most precious goal to be met during the Renaissance and its importance is seen in these trials. When trying to unlock the truth, the key is to understand what definition of honor each is trying to impress upon the court.

One's place in society greatly influences one's perspective of honor and its relative importance in life. An individual's honor is based on the external, outward image he or she gives the public.

Social status helps shape honor because of the existence of or lack of wealth, family prestige, or beauty. A conflict exists between the varying levels of status. Honor seems to be more important to the upper class than the lower. In "The Abbot's Assassins," the abbot, an upper class man, has been stabbed and to regain his honor, he has his servants go and kill a member of the household responsible. This violent act would "discharge a burden to their honour" (Cohen 35). Furthermore, the servants would be serving the abbot's house by "discharging its debt of honour," which implies the stabbing is a liability to the abbot's family(Cohen 35-36). The abbot and the bishop see honor as their ability to retaliate against anyone who harms them or their family.

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