The law system was unfair during the trials, so when or if someone was accused the court would side with the accuser, unless of course, they were a witch themselves. In conclusion, the people who died and who were accused of witchcraft were not really witches, Salem and it’s inhabitants were under the influence of mass hysteria, personal beliefs and grudges that eventually became the chaos of the Salem witch hunts of
The intensity of the tragedy is dependent on whether the witches are perceived to be able to control the otherwise innocent Macbeth's actions, or if he is entirely responsible for his own demise. Although not a "secret, black, and midnight hag" (4.1.48), as an evil female, Lady Macbeth could be considered a witch according to the standards of Shakespeare's day. In the same way that witches subvert the natural order of religion and society, Lady Macbeth subverts the order of the sexes and the family by trying to have more power than the head of the family, her husband. Not only does she act out of order, but several of her actions imply that she is actually witch-like. Firstly, it was widely believed in Europe for centuries that sorcery could cause impotence (Cotton 320).
In 17th century Salem the inhabitants feared witchcraft, like America feared communism, both were exaggerated and both communities overreacted to an insignificant threat to their stability of life. Arthur Miller had always had a personal interest in the Salem Witch trials, but at the time he was writing the play, America was in the middle of the McCarthy political "Witch Hunt". Miller himself was called up before a committee for signing petitions, and he began to notice many similarities between the two trials, such as the naming of names and public confessions. This has meant that his play is seen as a political parable. In 1692, the colonists in Salem were Puritans and very protective of their particular religion and would tolerate no other.
The phrase “No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark” (Miller 64). shows the deterioration of the village’s unity and peace-of-mind because it says that the proof that witchcraft is happening in Salem is incontrovertible, in opposed to before, whereas before they could explain paranormal activities with logic. The impending doom of witchcraft for the village of Salem is becoming closer and it is blinding the eyes of people to the extent that someone so deeply respected, such as Rebecca Nurse, is being accused for doing the actions of the Devil. The unknown and vast darkness of witchcraft bl... ... middle of paper ... ...w the teachings of the upper-class blindly and if a civilization is confronted by the unknown and the upper-class change nothing, civilization will be destroyed and Arthur Miller shows this through the accusation of Rebecca Nurse, the actions of Abigail Williams to rid of Elizabeth Proctor, and the structure of the village. Modern-day society looks back at a time in which turmoil was abroad such as the time frame in which The Crucible happened and is in awe of what destruction happened, but in their eyes, the villagers thought they were doing nothing wrong in punishing the accused witches.
The Witch Trials were a sign of rebellion from the people; it was something to believe in. In the Crucible, the girls were previously God’s representatives in a strict town where there was no other choice but to follow God, but in the presence of the witch trials, these girls are suddenly treated as though they have a direct connection to a divine power. In a political cartoon, it shows a witch on trial saying, “It makes no difference what I say. You’ve already decided I’m guilty.” The man replies with, “Gasp! The witch can read minds!” This example proves how much power the people think the witch obtains, when in reality the witches were just not naïve or oblivious.
To express his outrage at McCarthy’s actions, miller wrote The Crucible, intentionally drawing similarities between the McCarthy hearings and the Salem witch trials. Miller directly targets McCarthy through the character Abigail Williams in The Crucible. Abigail is portrayed as a sneaky, manipulative girl, not unlike McCarthy. Abigail desperately yearned for John Proctor, begging him to “give [her] a word…a soft word,” but when John pushed her away and told her “that’s done with,” Abigail felt that the only way she could have John to herself was to accuse his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, of practicing witchcraft (Miller 1246). Although Abigail had no evidence that the people she accused were practicing witchcraft, the court took her accusations seriously because Abigail had credibility.
Later in the same scene... ... middle of paper ... ... the brains out” of her own child as “it was smiling in [her] face” than break such strong a promise. Macbeth then worries that the plan will fail, but Lady Macbeth strongly convinces him that if he is courageous enough, they can’t fail. By manipulating her husband with such intent, Lady Macbeth further proved herself to be responsible for King Duncan’s death. Lady Macbeth is the most responsible for the death of King Duncan. While the witches in the play provide the motivation for Duncan’s betrayal, they never instruct Macbeth to take his cousin’s life, yet Lady Macbeth does.
Julio Caro Baroja explains in his book on Basque witchcraft that women who were out casted from society and unable to fulfill their womanly duties became witches as a way to compensate for her failed life. They were thought to be a threat to society as they dwindled in evil magic. This misunderstanding may have originated from the literary works of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, in their published book, “Malleus Maleficarum”. Accusations of being adulterous, liars and dealing with the devil materialized because of the... ... middle of paper ... ...they don’t understand. Reactions of witch-hunts were based on misconceived panic and anxiety of anything outside of the common religious beliefs.
This bitter and vindictive personality of his causes him to value himself far above others. This explains why Putnam feels little remorse for using the witch trials as a tool to for personal gain even though the in order to do so he must hurt his neighbor. In the beginning of the play while arguing with John Proctor over land, Putnam threatens, “You load ... ... middle of paper ... ...of desperation he confesses to having an affair with Abigail and then explains this is why Abigail wishes to kill Elizabeth. When the court still does not believe him he cries out, “I have rung rung the doom of my good name - you will believe me” (Miller 111). Even though John Procter ruins his honor to stop Abigail, Elizabeth is still sentenced to hang.
The way that Puritanism worked at the time caused a very delicate line between good and bad, heaven and hell, God and the devil. So, when the girls start to act bizarre, the townspeople think that they have collaborated with the devil and have become witches. Also, the pessimistic views of the Puritans show in who they first start to accuse. The people of Salem were probably wary of the misfits in their town. Also they might have thought negatively of the peop... ... middle of paper ... ...ily happen to a Puritan because of the small margin of error that puritanism seems to give.