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Persecution has been a round for sometime and can be traced historically from the time of Jesus to the present time. Early Christians were persecuted for their faith in the hands of the Jews. Many Christians have been persecuted in history for their allegiance to Christ and forced to denounce Christ and others have been persecuted for failing to follow the laws of the land. The act of persecution is on the basis of religion, gender, race, differing beliefs and sex orientation. Persecution is a cruel and inhumane act that should not be supported since people are tortured to death. In the crucible, people were persecuted because of alleged witchcraft.
The Crucible is a 1953 play by Arthur Miller. Initially, it was known as The Chronicles of Sarah Good. The Crucible was set in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts. It talks of McCarthyism that happened in the late 1600’s whereby the general public and people like Arthur Miller were tried and persecuted. The Crucible exemplifies persecutions during the Salem Witch Trials. The people were convicted and hung without any tangible proof of committing any crime. Persecutions were the order of the day. When a finger was pointed at any individual as a witch, the Deputy Governor Danforth never looked for evidence against them or evidence that incriminated them; he ordered them to be hanged. This can be seen through his words “Hang them high over the town! Who weeps for those, weeps for corruption!” (1273), the people were persecuted aimlessly. The four main characters in the play, John Proctor, Abigail Adams, Reverend Hale and Reverend Parris, are caught in the middle of the witchcraft panic in the religious Salem, Massachusetts in late 1690’s. Persecution is the most important theme in the Crucible, the leaders and citizens of Salem attacks and persecutes one of their own without any tangible evidence against them.
In the Crucible, persecution exists between friends and enemies in the play. The girls could falsely accuse the people they hate for practicing witchcraft so that they are persecuted. In addition, friends whose friendship had ended also accused their former friends of witchcraft. An example is Abigail who persecutes not just her enemies but her friends and family too. She accuses Mary Warren of bewitching her when she admitted her lies to the other girls.
In the Crucible, the accused were unfairly tried and convicted on limited evidence or even word of mouth from the girls.
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The Crucible deals with the vicious persecution of Elizabeth who was accused of practicing witchcraft and being a witch. Abigail destroyed many people by accusing them of practicing witchcraft just to save herself an example is Elizabeth and Tituba. Many of the characters in the Crucible saved themselves when in danger by accusing other falsely so that they may be persecuted. Abigail destroyed Tituba, Mary Warren destroyed John Proctor, Betty destroyed the old man with the beard, and Abigail also destroyed Elizabeth Proctor and left them to be persecuted innocently.
Persecution has been there since time immemorial whereby Christians were persecuted because of their adherence to Christ. Many of them died painfully because they could not afford to denounce Christ. In addition, some people in different countries have been reportedly persecuted because of their religion, race, and gender. Persecution is a cruel and inhumane act that should not be supported. In the Crucible, the people were persecuted innocently because their accusers did not provide any evidence against them.
Miller, Arthur. “The Crucible.” Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Eds. Kylene Beers and Lee Odell. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 2007. 1216-1273. Print.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 1982, Print.
Davis, John Jefferson. "The Perseverance of the Saints: A History of the Doctrine," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 34:2 (June 1991), 213-228.