The township of Salem, Massachusetts was built upon Puritan Christian traditions and expectations. “They believed, in short, that they held in their steady hands thee candle that would light the world.” Laws were derived from scripture, as “indicated by the practice of appointing a two-man patrol” who carry the job of reporting those who do not attend church or who break the Sabbath. The innate certainty and faith in this theocracy is observed in the judges Hathorne and Danforth, who consider themselves appointed by God to deal justice. Deputy Governor Danforth deals in absolutes, stating that “A person is either with this court or he must be counted against it” (believing that no innocent man should have reason to fear “the highest court of the supreme government of this province”, which he sees as ...
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...biblical allusion), dramatic conflict and other representational techniques such as staging, juxtaposition and contrast to highlight and develop key concerns and issues regarding People and Politics, such as the motivations of individuals; the representation of those in power; the importance of understanding one’s belief system and how they are tied to actions and judgement; how power is achieved and maintained by certain characters through cunning manipulation of hysteria; and how the flawed but basically moral tragic protagonist helps Arthur Miller connect to a 1950’s context and audience. Careful consideration of both staging as a performed play and reading as a commentated play or novel determines meaning, and indeed Miller’s commentary makes the intended meaning behind thee meaning communicated through his stage directions very clear both to audience and reader.
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