Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay example

Analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay example

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In the play The Crucible, Arthur Miller shows how a repressed Puritan town in 1692 can be turned upside down when the threat of witchcraft is taken seriously. The Puritans believe the forest is where the Devil lurks, and they are fearful of the Devil. So when Parris, the town of Salem’s Reverend, catches a group of girls dancing and magic spirits in the forest, the town suspects that some sort of witchcraft is being practiced. The girls deny this accusation initially and Abigail, Reverend Parris’s niece, blames Tituba, a slave from Barbados. Abigail blames Tituba to keep herself out of trouble. Consequently, Tituba confesses because she is afraid she will be beaten to death. Tituba’s confession is the start of the mass hysteria that begins in Salem, Massachusetts. For this reason Reverend Hale, an expert on witches, is called from Beverly to investigate these suspicions. Reverend Hale is an “eager-eyed intellectual” (Miller 38), who is full of pride to have finally been called to Salem to ascertain witchcraft and purify the town of evil forces. Another character, a respected judge named Danforth, arrives from Boston and contributes to the mass hysteria seen in Salem when he relies heavily on spectral evidence presented in court to rid the town of evil. Both Reverend Hale and Danforth are allies against witchcraft trying to condemn the accused. However, as the play progresses, the two men become opponentswhen Hale realizes the flaw in his initial judgment, and Danforth rejects valuable information to protect the authority of the court and his reputation. Reverend Hale’s investigations outside the court room lead him to doubt that spectral testimony in court is true, while Danforth’s refusal to consider outside information leads hi...


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...llapsing authority on the town.
Conclusion: In the beginning both Hale and Danforth want to get rid of the “witches” in Salem, but after some time Hale tries to become the savior of those convicted. Overall, Hale’s opinion throughout the story changes because he uses reason and relies on information he gathers to come to the conclusion that Abigail is merely trying to take out her vengeance on John Proctor. Danforth, on the other hand, relies on spectral evidence and is unwilling to examine evidence critically or act upon it when he could have stopped the hysteria. Danforth and Hale begin on nearly identical thought process; Hale faces a paradigm shift in both belief and perspective and breaks his allegiance with the court, whereas Danforth’s stubbornness and refusal to seek truth from sources besides the spectral evidence provided in court the madness of the trials

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