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On the face of the play (“The Crucible”) it seems to be simply about the mass hysteria which led to the 1692 Salem Witchcraft trials, which talks about a handful of issues which are somewhat remote to a modern audience, who in turn find it relatively intricate to relate to such happenings. But as you study the play in more detail you realise that Miller not only stresses issues which were easy to relate to in the time in which it was set, but has also given the play a modern touch by stressing the rivalry between Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor. Consequently Miller adds to the dramatic feel of the play by adding a series of modern touches and historic statements which makes the play not only relate to the happenings of witchcraft but also explore the crime of adultery, which makes the play more about the personal guilt of John Proctor. The play furthermore creates the “Crucible” in such a way as to illustrate how people react to mass hysteria, created by a person or group of people desiring fame (in this case Abigail because she is the main leader of all the happenings that go on in the performance), as people di... ... middle of paper ... ...adds to the drama of the play by keeping the reader hooked to see which female John will choose in the end. The play deliberately uses differences to show us as the audience that there are clear contrasts between Abigail and Elizabeth.
It was at staid Boston that Anne Hutchinson marshaled her forces; it was at peace-loving Salem that the Devil marshaled his witches in a last despairing onslaught against the saints. To many of its readers there seemed to be little or no connection between witchcraft and religion; but an investigation of the facts leading to the death sentence of the various martyrs to superstition at Salem will convince the skeptical that there was a most intimate relationship between the Puritan belief and the theory of witchcraft. Looking back after the passing of more than two hundred years, it was said to believe the bizarre explanation, skilled and thoroughly intelligent folk as the Puritans could have believed in the possession of this evil power. It especially appeared incredibly when it was remembered that here was a people that came to this country for the exercise of religious freedom, a citizenship that descended from men trained in the universities of England, a well-built band that under extreme privation has created an institution within sixteen years after the settlement of wilderness. It was borne in the mind that the Massachusetts colonies were not alone in this belief in witchcraft.
The theme of vengeance manifests itself in the character Thomas Putnam whose intentions are to exploit the system for his own personal gain. Many people during the Second Red Scare used this tactic as well to amend previous grudges and profit only themselves. Arthur Miller was apprehensive about the amount of similarities between the two trials. “So many practices of the Salem trials were similar to those employed by the congressional committees that I could easily be accused of skewing hi... ... middle of paper ... ...rall effectiveness of the play by allowing the audience to make personal connections with the characters as well as strengthening the theme threads. “The Crucible was an act of desperation” (Why I Wrote).