The Guillotine

The guillotine was a new invention around the time that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed (1792-1793). The guillotine is a device used for decapitation, in which a blade inside of a wooden frame, suspended by pulling a rope, is dropped, killing whoever is on the receiving end.  This is what it looks like: 

This device became a symbol of great terror in France, and was used commonly during the French Revolution. 

Also, here is a clip from the film version of A Tale of Two Cities from 1935 based on the novel by Charles Dickens.  Starting around 4:00, the clip shows the final scene, in which the guillotine is used for one of the character’s execution.

A Tale Of Two Cities (video)

Images: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/koppers/asian_odyssey/1141960980/hoa_lo_prison_guillotine.jpg/tpod.html; http://missionmission.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/bonne-fete-nationale/

Video: www.youtube.com

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