The hierarchy is challenged if the accused gains any sympathy with the crowd or if they were to cast any doubt as to the validity of their punishment. This can be done by not showing remorse for their crimes, not admitting guilt or trying to make public plea which therefore prolongs death and can make the powers that be seem undermined.
Towards the later half of the paper, Foucault makes a brief mention of the Enlightenment, stating “The Enlightenment was soon to condemn public torture and execution as an ‘atrocity’ - a term that was often used to describe it, but without any critical intention, by jurists themselves.” I found this statement really interesting because the Enlightenment was all about reason, moving away from emotion. While it didn’t initially balance hierarchy, there were definitely hints of finding a balance in society, especially when you consider the social effects of the Enlightenment on current society. Part of that new found thinking can be found in how people respond to these dramas of torture and death and a typical analysis of them being as ‘of the past.’ However, as the hangings in Iran show, that isn’t the case. They are, seemingly, parallels to each other, though obviously they are very situationally different. Yet, in terms of social impact and even how they are carried out, they are still dramas meant to instill fear and not to upset the balance of power.