This dichotomy functions as the underlying logic behind the witch trials. Danforth has not learned the danger of judging others, while Hale has. Even in the court after confessing his crime, he tries to save his name. Those whose honesty is stronger than their fear of death inevitably destroy themselves. Succinctly, the play is about the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. Abigail understands how much her name means; she knows what a soiled name will do to a person, unlike Elizabeth, who has a pure name, that does not understand what a soiled name can o to a person.
Like a struck beast, he says, and screamed a scream that a bull would weep to hear. It was a theocracy; those who opposed the government, therefore, were opposing God, and those who opposed God must be punished accordingly; hence, when John Proctor, Giles Corey, and others spoke out against the trials, they were not just being accused of overthrowing the court, they were being accused of overthrowing God. The communist allegations were launched at government employees, entertainers and writers…. Proctor deceives Elizabeth and himself by keeping the secret of his adultery in his heart to secure his false reputation. The theme of name is used to show the significance of reputation to the people of Salem. One of the many cases where good versus evil is portrayed is through the situation between Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams. In his autobiography, Time bends, Miller describes his reaction to friends who were called up before the McCarthy tribunal and saved themselves by denouncing others.
They don't want to get a bad reputation in the community, especially Abigail. When Parris's daughter Betty falls unconscious, accusations of witchcraft fly as Abigail and the other girls try to protect themselves. Hale is eager to try out his skills; Mrs. The entire witch trial system thrives on accusations, the only way that witches can be identified, and confessions, which provide the proof of the justice of the court proceedings. Arthur Miller's 1950's play The Crucible, is loosely based on the real-life events of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
In both episodes, only the strongest stood up to their judges. However, as the play progresses, he considers them innocent and tries to save them. Arthur Miller created John Proctor as a tragic hero in this novel. She made a choice to stick to her beliefs and not go along with the craziness of the town. At the end of the play, Proctor finds that Rebecca Nurse, a woman of great moral character in the play, has not confessed and will hang. One individual may construe the themes of a book or story differently than another, but that is the pure beauty of themes.
In the first act, even before the hysteria begins, we see Parris accuse Abigail of dishonoring him, and he then makes a series of accusations against his parishioners. This occurred in the year of 1953. Everyone turns against them without any proof. Empowerment The witch trials empower several characters in the play who are previously marginalized in Salem society. Abigail begins the hysteria when she finds it a convenient way to deflect attention from her own sins, and further points the accusations at Elizabeth to scheme her way into Proctor's arms. However, actual events diverge from the narrative of the play. It can also be referred to a situation in which a person has to make a decision that can be critical to his morals and principles.
They cling so inflexibly to their point of view that law-abiding characters like Rebecca and Francis Nurse are pushed into defiance. Hysteria supplants logic and enables people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered upstanding people, are committing absurd and unbelievable crimes—communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on. There are many themes in the masterpiece of Arthur Miller, The Crucible. In the end, Proctor is left with nothing but his name and reputation. He manages to accept and forgive his own imperfections. Early on, the Reverend Parris is the sole authoritative voice in Salem, as the minister and a graduate of Harvard College. All other references to witchcraft are connected with fear, suspicion, and the collapse of normal social values.
Proctor has a good reputation in the community and although he wants to discredit Abigail, he does not wish to tarnish his own name in the process. Similarly, the black slave Tituba, whose race gave her the lowest social status in Salem, found herself with the ability to decide the fates of people far more powerful than herself as she accused others of witchcraft. Indeed, the play is a parable for the McCarthy era, in which similar 'witch hunts' occurred targeting citizens as communists rather than disciples of Satan. Use these Crucible quotes for class discussion, for a better understanding of the play, or for. Miller born in 1915, but where was his childhood? Just as Proctor was pushed to give names of those that did sorcery in the town of Salem, many people were pushed to name names during the McCarthy era. The discount is applied at checkout.
In The Crucible, John and Rebecca are not standing up for individual rights in the modern sense. These lies cause hysteria because Proctor is now arrested by the lie that he was trying to put an end to. They are not portrayed as servants to men, mothers or wives. Second, The Crucible also presents a theocratic society where the Church and state are one, and no one can go against this system. Accusations, Confessions, and Legal Proceedings The witch trials are central to the action of The Crucible, and dramatic accusations and confessions fill the play even beyond the confines of the courtroom. Some have criticized Miller for oversimplifying matters, in that while there were as far as we know no actual witches in Salem, there were certainly Communists in 1950s America. The court itself was an extension of this principle, desperately in search of external validity — Danforth cannot possibly exonerate some when others have already perished for the same crime.
In late seventeenth-century New England , the balance began to turn to greater individual freedom. But others thrive on the hysteria as well: Reverend Parris strengthens his position within the village, albeit temporarily, by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority. Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar! These accusations, we learn in the novel, are not true and are merely stories to put the blame of someone's mistakes or wrongdoings to someone else. He struggles with his decision of whether to sign the confession and live, or die with the other accused. By the end of Act 1, the adults have succumbed to their fear that the Devil and his witches are trying to destroy Salem. Themes are universal because regardless of where in the world, the ideas still relates to everyone and is understood. As the play describes, the witchcraft trials began because of the illness of , the daughter of the Salem minister, , a former merchant in Barbados.
This post is part of the series: The Crucible Study Guide. Theme 10 Intolerance During the play, various characters face false judgment and intolerance. This plot is advanced by multiple characters in the book in order to ensure that the reader maintains interest with the material that is being read. In Salem a good name goes a long way. The modern idea that religious belief is a matter of private conscience would have been considered blasphemous. Act I Analysis: We get a glimpse of Abigail Williams' ruthless nature. Her name gives her respect throughout Salem.