This curious form of an introduction might, in fact, be the most important part of the play, for it explains the symbolic motivations that created the conditions that made the witch hunt possible, and, as Miller argues, such a witch hunt is not necessarily a relic of history.
Write an essay in which you offer a thoughtful analysis of this introduction. The play begins with rumors that the town has become plagued by witches of late, and soon this rumor generates a fear that spreads faster than wildfire.
The fear escalates to such a dramatic degree that the dominant class must respond by quashing the supposed witches with extreme strategies: Carefully examine how this fear escalates, identifying who the responsible parties are , what their stakes were, and what tactics they used to escalate concern in their community.
One of the important motifs worth examining in The Crucible is that of power: Select one or more characters they can be powerful or powerless and examine the ways in which the exercise their agency and authority or, in the case of someone powerless, struggle against their powerless position.
In response, Proctor claims that the land was rightfully purchased from Francis nurse five months prior, to which Putnam claims Francis did not have a legal deed of ownership to sell the land.
Things become complicated as Reverend Hale arrives in order to investigate the strange happenings and sicknesses in Salem. He has been summoned by the people of Salem who fear that witchcraft is behind the illnesses. Hale finds out that the afflicted girls were in the woods dancing together with Tituba.
He believes Tituba is capable of conjuring spirits. At this the girls begin to blame each other. Abigail puts the blame on Tituba who admits that she is capable of conjuring spirits.
When Hale questions Tituba she explains that she has seen the devil himself. When Betty finally wakes up she lists all who have seen the devil. Eight days pass and Elizabeth and Proctor argue over that fact that she found out Proctor spoke with Abigail privately in Salem.
After serving in the court, Mary Warren returns home to Salem. She gives Elizabeth a doll she made while sitting in the courtroom. Mary Warren explains to Proctor that some of the girls accuse Elizabeth of witchcraft. However, the charge is dismissed by the court after she is defended by Mary Warren.
Hale turns his questioning on the Proctor house and asks Proctor about his poor attendance at church. As a test, he asks Proctor to name the Ten Commandments. Proctor names nine of them correctly but seems to forget the commandment against committing adultery. Hale also questions Elizabeth. Proctor admits that Abigail told him the witchcraft allegations are false.
He arrests Elizabeth after Abigail feels a needle stab earlier in the evening and accuses Elizabeth of attempting to murder her. They also find a needle. After Hale questions Mary Warren, she admits that she sewed the doll and put the needle inside it.
She tells Hale that Abigail saw her sew the doll and also saw her place the needle inside. Nevertheless, he has Elizabeth arrested. Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse are convicted of witchcraft.
Judge Danforth demands that Corey reveal the source for his claims and he refuses to give over the name. At this, Judge Danforth tells Proctor that Elizabeth is pregnant. The court proceedings involve the girls making accusations toward each other. Mary Warren tells the court that she lied and pretended to see spirits.
She admits that her accusations against the others are false. She also tells the court that Abigail and the other girls are also lying.
She and the other girls accuse Mary of using spirits against them in the court. Proctor calls Mary a lying whore and denounces the charges against Mary Warren. Proctor admits his affair with Abigail to the court. He also states that Abigail is lying to the court in order to get Elizabeth executed so she can marry Proctor.
He goes on to state that Elizabeth would never lie. The court summons her and questions her. She is unaware that her husband has already admitted to the affair and she lies to the court. She is sent back to jail. Abigail continues to accuse Mary Warren of attacking her.
Mary Warren eventually recants her confession. She says she lied about the witchcraft and she accuses Proctor of being in league with the devil. After several months, we find Proctor in prison, as is Rebecca Nurse, awaiting execution by hanging.
Proctor confesses all and signs a written confession. However, he cannot bear to have the confession made public and decides to take the guilt with him to the grave. He destroys the affidavit rather than see it posted on the church. The play ends as we hear the drum beats as he is taken to the gallows. A farmer who lives just outside of Salem. He serves as the voice of reason in the play yet he is compromised by a scandalous secret.
He is the one who exposes the girls and their lies about practicing witchcraft and for this reason he is the tragic hero in the play. But because of his affair with Abigail, he questions his own moral standing in the community. In the end he cannot take a final stand for justice and gives himself over to the gallows. The wife of John Proctor. She has a confidence in her morality. She believes there through strict adherence to these moral and Christian principles a person can maintain their principles even when those principles conflict with strict Christian doctrine.
Because she is considered to be of such high moral character, this very quality is what ultimately gets her husband condemned when she lies about his affair with Abigail. However, Elizabeth comes over as cold and demanding and we are led to suspect that this demeanor is what may have led her husband to have an affair with Abigail.
The seventeen year-old niece of Reverend Parris. Abigail was a servant to the Proctors before she was let go by Elizabeth for having an affair with her husband John. She seems malicious and vengeful in the play. It is Abigail who creates the hysteria over witchcraft after she is caught dancing by Reverend Parris. She wrongfully accuses the others of witchcraft to cover herself from charges.
She also charges Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft in order to take her husband. We learn that much of her vicious nature is largely due to childhood trauma. When word spread, speaking of witchcraft in Salem, that fear, that paranoia emerged ever so imminently and thus began the tragedy.
With the people's fear came rumors. Putnam asked, "How high did she fly, how high? It was the accusations that proved most costly. People turned against each other saving themselves by accusing their neighbors.
All of these consequences sprouted from fear in the hearts and minds of the people of Salem. Fear, however, only contributed to this tragedy. John Proctor's freedom within was the other half that completes the equation. It was this freedom that resulted in his mistakes, his flaws. Proctor chose to have relations, outside of his marriage to Elizabeth with Abigail. In Act Two, John makes a determined effort to please Elizabeth.
He kisses her perfunctoritly; he lies in saying that her cooking is well-seasoned perhaps a kind of irony on the lack of spice in Elizabeth showing the strain in their relationship. Murray, 46 Like all men Proctor had his temptations yet his freedom allowed him to give in to them. Through his own freedom John "lusted with the girl" and went "against the law of God and Salem" Murray, 46 Freedom also existed in John's choice to not attend Church.
It was this choice that also contributed to his downfall, for it did not put him in the best standings with the townspeople. The fear in society and the freedom of John Proctor both complement each other in that balance that Miller spoke of. Tragedy comes from what the protagonist can, as well as cannot control. This evidence clearly holds true to Miller's definition of tragedy.
Suffering was a major step in coaxing John to his realization. He suffered mentally and emotionally because of his flaw, as the heat of the accusations intensified. He witnessed his wife Elizabeth go through the agony of being accused as a witch. Their true suffering becomes apparent when Proctor confesses to adultery to pardon Elizabeth. Elizabeth lies in turn to save her husband's name. They endured this torment for each other. They endured it till their day of sentencing. This extreme anguish and emotional stress which Miller creates adds to the sence of tragedy.
It is this emphatical grief which makes the conclusion of The Crucible so outstanding. Miller utilizes the sorrow to make Proctor's all-important realization that much more spectacular. However, in the Greek definition of tragedy this suffering would serve as pathos. Pathos is the element of sympathy in the plot to evoke pity. In the Greek tradition this was essential to the plot.
However, Miller does not see his tragedy as one that should include pity for the protagonist. Where pathos rules, where pathos is finally derived, a character has fought a battle he could not have possible won. Miller feels the protagonist must emerge victorious in some way where the Greek tradition relies on an emphasis of pity.
In Miller's view, how can we have pity for someone who has won? This is where the conflict lies and as we see in Proctor's realization, " The Crucible" will hold true to Miller's definition.
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“The Crucible” Research Paper Example: The word crucible suggests not only the setting of witch hysteria, but the fundamental theme of the play as well, for a crucible also refers to a severe test or trial.
The Crucible is a play written in by Arthur Miller. It is a dramatization of Salem witch trials. Fear, superstition, mass hysteria and denunciation were common in that historical period as well as in USA of McCarthyism times, when communists were treated like “witches”. WE CAN HELP YOU With Your Research Paper. Hire Writer. Free crucible papers, essays, and research papers. The Crucible - Introduction The Crucible – It can withstand extreme conditions.
Nov 29, · The Crucible Term Paper " The Crucible " is a play describing how lies and betrayals destroy a peaceful society. It also shows how jealousy and hatred destroy lives when accusers are given too much trust and victims are given none. John Doe The Crucible Research Paper Around the same, beginning in the ’s, both McCarthyism and the imprisoning of the Japanese after Pearl Harbor were taking place.