"All hands on deck to witness punishment, ahoy!" This command from the Boatswain brings Constitution's entire crew to the middle of the ship to watch a flogging. This spectacle is a brutal but effective way to make sure the crew obeys orders. Those who don't are tied to the ship's rail, and whipped with nine knotted cords. Flogging is brutal. The lash lifts flesh off the victim's bare back, spraying it onto the deck and the nearest spectators.
Flogging was very rare on board Constitution; it was a punishment that was not taken lightly. Explore with students the thoughts and considerations that may have influenced the severity of discipline with Two Perspectives – the Captain and the Offender, and the emotions that sailors are exhibiting on their faces in this scene. What are the ranges of their emotions? Allow students to create a collage, poem or another creative outlet that explores the emotion that they most identify with: horror, fear, sadness, anger, despair, support, indignation, misunderstanding, etc.