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Playing With / A Taste of the Lash

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Basic Trope: A character is punished by being whipped, usually publicly.

  • Straight: Bob is publicly whipped for jaywalking.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob is actually scourged. (That is, the whip is tipped with bone and/or metal to really do some damage.)
    • Bob is whipped for an hour or more at a time, multiple times.
    • Bob is struck with a ridiculously huge whip that requires several people to wield.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • The crime in question was considered enough of Serious Business that it required a serious punishment of some kind, but not serious enough to warrant the death penalty or something like that. In addition, it involves an aspect of public shaming, which might help to deter others from committing similar crimes.
    • Bob is being tortured; they're hoping he'll crack and tell them whatever it is they want to know.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Instead of simply being whipped or scourged, Emperor Gluteus Maximus III sentences Bob to be Fed to the Beast.
  • Double Subverted: Bob still is lashed, before being thrown to the lions.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Bob commits a crime. He is taken before the Emperor, who talks to him for a few minutes while lovingly fondling a vicious-looking scourge. Bob is visibly nervous, before the Emperor mentions that they abolished corporal punishment years ago. Bob, in utter relief, shakes the Emperor's hand, which turns out to be a crime so heinous that they reinstate scourging as a punishment just for Bob.
  • Averted:
    • The punishment for Bob's crime is not being whipped or scourged. He may or may not be allowed to go free, but a whip does not even enter the equation.
    • Bob didn't commit a crime and isn't falsely accused.
    • Bob is in a town or city that does not have any whips available.
  • Enforced: How about some historical accuracy for our story set in Ancient Grome?
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "As punishment, you shall receive no fewer than 40 lashes!"
  • Invoked: Bob commits a crime that is serious enough to warrant a punishment, but not a capital one.
  • Exploited: The lashing is open to the public, and the Groman citizens are encouraged (or maybe even required) to attend.
  • Defied:
    • The Emperor decides to let Bob go free.
    • Another punishment is done instead.
    • A law is passed that prohibits whipping.
  • Discussed: "How come it's always 40 lashes, never 30 lashes or 50 lashes?"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Played for Laughs: Dave takes off his belt and whips Bob 40 times with it. Dave's pants fall down, leading to Comedic Underwear Exposure.
  • Played For Drama: Bob is shown having to live with the injury until the worst of it heals over, during which time he might get infected.

Back to A Taste of the Lash

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