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Free Essays on The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Crucible, a historical play by Arthur Miller, is based on events of the Salem Witchcraft trials. The play takes place in a small Puritan village in Massachusetts in 1692. It begins with Abigail Williams leading a group of girls to the forest with Tituba, a slave woman from Barbados believed to have special powers. After being caught by Reverend Parris, his daughter Betty enters into a coma-like state. In order to protect themselves and the girls, Abigail initiates an accountability session and names all of the innocent people in town. This leads to Abigail’s condemnation of Elizabeth Proctor, which John Proctor believes is solely done to get her out of their relationship that was developed during their affair seven months back. Hoping to free Elizabeth from charges, Proctor goes to the court with the assistance from Reverend Hale and Mary Warren, and explains to the officials that everything is pretense. However Judge Danforth, with disbelief, sentences Proctor and the other locals to death. This play shows the social chaos in the village that results from superstition. The author, Arthur Miller, employs superstition to create a society in which people blindly accept belief that strange events happen out of the ordinary. In Act One, just after Betty falls into a coma-like state, Reverend Parris calls for others to come in to investigate what is happening. Abigail ferociously attempts to wake Betty up. She succeeds, but Betty rushes to the open window, thinking she can fly. Abigail grabs her before she jumps out and drags her back to bed. Out of nowhere, Betty exclaims: “…You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (p. 19) Through the speech of an ignorant, little girl, Miller portrays just how inane this Puritan world really is. The fact that the crowd gathered by Parris is provoked demonstrates the superstition of the people. Betty’s alarmed tone and incredulous words show the gullible nature of the village. It is evident that the Puritans believe everything they see and hear much too abruptly. Miller continuously applies the concept of superstition as a motif in this play. Reverend John Hale of Beverly is called upon by Mr. Parris to investigate the afflicted Betty. He brings in aid with him a half a dozen heavy books. Hale carefully examines Betty and strives to wake her, but fails. Trying to gain better knowledge of the situation, he asks: “Mr.

The Dynamic Reverend Hale in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Reverend Hale is a dynamic character in Miller’s The
Crucible as he is challenged by John Proctor’s courage. He starts out very convincing and seems to know exactly what he wants. John Proctor is a very strong and courageous character. He influences
Reverend Hale so much that Hale completely changes his mind about Salem, the court, and witches.
Reverend Hale enters Salem as a very strong character that knows what he wants to do. He is very sure of himself. “They must be, they are weighted with authority” (p. 36). When he arrives in Salem, he is absolutely sure of witchcraft. “The devil is precise-the marks of his presence are as definite as stone.” (p. 38), “Are you gathering souls for the devil?” (p. 44); “Who came to you with the devil?” and
“.perhaps another person in the village?” (p. 45). A few of his faults are that he judges too much by appearances, “.you look as such a good soul should”
(p. 37); “.a claim so weighty cannot be argued by a farmer,” (p. 99); and he uses people to question other people. “How can you bear to see this child suffering?” (p. 45); “In the book of record Mr. Parris keeps.” (p. 64); “The man’s ordained, therefore he must have the light of god in him.” (p. 66). Reverend
Hale has a lot of wisdom to share with Salem. “Man, remember, until an hour before the devil fell, God thought him beautiful in heaven,” (p. 71); “.private vengeance is working through testimony,” (p. 114).
John Proctor is a strong and courageous character who will not give in easily to his accusers. In the end of The Crucible he denies the charges of witchcraft.
He says he will never confess that. He could be free of charges if he confesses, but it is a false accusation and he doesn’t want anything corrupting his name. He is a very good person who just wants to please everyone, especially his wife. He says, “I’ll buy George Jacobs heifer. How would that please you?”; “I mean only to please you, Elizabeth.” The fact that he only wants to please people is what gets him into trouble. He tries too hard to tell people only what they want to hear.
This all results in Hale changing his mind about the court, the witches, and Salem. He is very disappointed with how the people of Salem acted. He was outraged by the way they accused people they didn’t like of being witches, just so they would have to deal with them anymore. He hated the way the girls who cried out did it all following Abigail Williams.

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