The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

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“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth” - Albert Einstein. Throughout the course of human history, authority has played a prominent role in our lives. Einstein’s quote about “blind belief in authority” explains the situation fittingly in “The Crucible”. Not only have the people of Salem senselessly believed in teenager’s accusations, but they have also supported the actions of the High Court, along with Judge Danforth and Reverend Parris, which has led to numerous innocent deaths. In Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”, Reverend Hale, Reverend Parris, and Judge Danforth have differing views on how authority should be derived and applied.
Reverend Hale, a witch hunter brought to Salem, differs greatly from the way he exhibits authority from Judge Danforth and Reverend Parris. We see early on in the play, Hale uses his authority in the name of God, the High Court, and what he believes is truly just. When Hale is introduced to the reader, the first thing he is mentioned being with is his theology books. Here, the reader can see that Hale is deeply invested in using his authority solely for the purpose of ridding the world of ‘evil’. This is evident in the quote, “They must be; they are weighted with authority.” (1255). Hale is talking about how his authority is essentially derived from his books. In comparison to Danforth, Hale’s intentions are definitely more noble. Hale looks at the evidence and applies his knowledge on theology and even his own morality. The reader can conclude that this is true based on the following, “Excellency, I have signed seventy-two death warrants; I am a minister of the Lord, and I dare not tarke a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.” ...


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... worrisome about his reputation. Overall, he really epitomizes an ignoramus.
In brief, Hale, Parris, and Danforth have contrasting views on how to use authority, but ultimately, Hale is really the only one who uses his authority for good intentions. Danforth uses his authority ignorantly, citing God as the only evidence he needs. Last and least, Parris uses his authority for only selfish motives. Authority not derived from the people is not something that should be senselessly followed. Einstein once said that the greatest enemy of truth is blind belief in authority. What should ultimately taken from this quote is that authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from the threat of force. In this case, the people of Salem are the governed. Parris, Danforth, and the High Court had no right in wrongly sentencing many of the town’s citizens to death.

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