The people in charge are so eager to hold onto their power that if anyone disagrees with them in the way the trials are conducted, it is taken as a personal affront and challenge to their authority. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller many people panicked from the witch hysteria which caused many to be accused of being witches, Judge Danforth decided what happens to the accused witches and is the most corrupted in Salem because his power of being a judge made him go overboard with his decisions on people. Arthur Miller pokes fun at this in his commentary in the play and explains his intentions to the audience. The second major theme in The Crucible (and one that teachers often ask about) is fear and hysteria. Its easy for more respectable citizens to accept that shes in league with the Devil because she is an "other" in Salem, just like Tituba. John tells the judge to summon Elizabeth to back him up because he knows she always tells the truth. Throughout the play, Miller is introducing multiple characters that experience changes in their decisions and negatively influence more people eventually leading up to the witch trials. She was seen as a grandmother to the village. One single example is ; Corporate and political greed and desire for power is the reason for most of the suffering as claimed by many. Danforth is convinced that there is a moving plot to topple Christ in the country! and anyone who doubts the decisions of the court is potentially involved. Believer, Baltimore City IEP Chair, and 2:39 marathon runner. Her jealousy of Elizabeth Proctors position as Johns wife has led her to attempted murder, first by the charm in the woods and now by accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft. If you hope to write an awesome essay onThe Crucible, you should have extensive knowledge of its themes. Abigails power skyrockets as the hysteria grows more severe. The Crucible by Arthur Miller. When this fallacy is used, the unrealistic characteristic is undesirable, causing the other person to look bad. Thomas Putnam tells him to Wait for no one to charge you - declare it yourself.Parris must rush to be the first accuser so he can place himself beyond reproach. John Proctor sabotages his own reputation in Act 3 after realizing it's the only way he can discredit Abigail. What are their strengths and personal flaws? The only power they have left is in refusing to confess and preserving their integrity. Why is hypocrisy so common in repressive communities like Salem? Most Important Themes in The Crucible, Analyzed. Miller accomplishes this through almost, if not every character in the story. In fact, we've all seen hypocrisy in our daily lives. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you I have given you my soul; leave me my name! (pg. By Act 4, many of the power structures that were firmly in place earlier in the play have disintegrated. As John gives his confession, Danforth says to Rebecca Nurse Now, woman, you surely see it profit nothin to keep this conspiracy any further. In Act 3, Hale continues to make ironic statements about the existence of concrete proof for the accusations of witchcraft. The girls are essentially given permission by authority figures to continue their act because they are made to feel special and important for their participation. Arthur Millers portrayal of a town in the midst of a downfall The Crucible, tells the story of how mob mentality and hysteria can significantly influence not only individuals but the whole town. He has sentenced people to death based on lies about their dealings in black magic, and he has accepted other false confessions from those who would rather lie than be executed. The Crucible remains a staple of high school English because it is rich in themes that are consistently relevant to human beings regardless of time period. This hysteria-based evidence of witchcraft includes the discovery of the poppet in the Proctor household with a needle in it. Though Danforth is the most powerful official figure in court, Abigail manipulates him easily with her performance as a victim of witchcraft. Logic has no power to combat paranoia and superstition even when the claims of the girls are clearly fraudulent. Danforths image is extremely valuable to him, and he refuses to allow Parris concerns to disrupt his belief in the validity of his decisions. 133). 123). In a way,John welcomes the loss of his reputation because he feels so guilty about the disconnect between howhe is perceived by others and the sins he has committed. Our new student and parent forum, at, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. 71). The authorities ignore any inconvenient logical objections to the proceedings because they, too, are swept up in the madness. SAT is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination BoardTM. These people are the only ones who refuse to throw out false accusations or lie about involvement in witchcraft, so they find themselves condemned (this is the fate of Rebecca Nurse). A real example of irony would be if two married guests got into a fight about going to your wedding that ended in their divorce. Abigail possesses a two- pronged approach in her motivation. Thomas Putnam who has grudges against the people of Salem, and Abigail is a shameless liar who leads the accusations against the people of Salem. As we discussed in this lesson, we see hypocrisy everywhere, and its depiction in art is no exception. In Act 1 he jumped on board with the hysteria to preserve his power, but he ended up losing what little authority he had in the first place (and, according to Miller's afterward, was voted out of office soon after the end of the play). Parris is hypocritical because he is not a . Why does he decide to do so anyways? The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller, is a story where many people had been accused of witchcraft and a lot of innocent victims faced a difficult decision. Why is Cheever both astonished and afraid when he finds the poppet with the needle in it? 129)He is still convinced that all the prisoners are guilty and is determined to force them to admit their guilt. The Bible that the Puritans swore to live by is not being honored when they used the trials to condemn their neighbors to death. Do you not know that God damns all liars? These three characters can be the most to blame for the cause of the spread and start of hysteria in Salem during the Witch Trials. Thomas Putnam claims to be a holy, church-going man, yet his priority in life is to acquire land. He has sentenced people to death based on lies about their dealings in black magic, and he has accepted other false confessions from those who would rather lie than be executed. ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score, How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League, Is the ACT easier than the SAT? They are extremely biased towards believing they have made the correct sentencing decisions in court thus far, so they are reluctant to accept new evidence that may prove them wrong. In Act 1 he jumped on board with the hysteria to preserve his power, but he ended up losing what little authority he had in the first place (and, according to Miller's afterward, was voted out of office soon after the end of the play). These two institutions fuse together in The Crucible to actively encourage accusers and discourage rational explanations of events. When Abigail accuses Elizabeth, a respected farmers wife, it shows that she is willing to take big risks to remove Elizabeth from the picture. Nowhere is there any consideration of ulterior motives. How is Millers underlying message revealed in one of these themes and through the character?". In a way. The most substantial female character is Abigail, who is portrayed as a devious and highly sexualized young woman. His only goal is to get on the good side of the community as a whole, even in the midst of this bout of collective hysteria. Fear that spread among a group of people in Salem during the Salem Witch Trials, that event in history is a prime example of Mass Hysteria. How do the actions of authority figures encourage the girls to continue their accusations and even genuinely believe the lies theyre telling? In Act 2, the value of reputation in Salem starts to butt heads with the power of hysteria and fear to sway peoples opinions (and vengeance to dictate their actions). Hypocrisy is just one of many personality traits along many spectrums. Arthur Miller speaks of Reverend Parris, stating: ''until this strange crisis he, like the rest of Salem, never conceived that the children were anything but thankful for being permitted to walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and mouths shut until bidden to speak.''. Flaws in Human Reasoning Create a Tragic Figure One tragedy is a result of numerous conflicts and wrongdoings. She continues to act under the assumption that his reputation is of the utmost importance to him, and she does not reveal the affair. Though the play is fictional, the characters are named after real people who lived in Salem during that time. The play, The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller demonstrates the implications of a society in complete chaos over an irrational fear of witchcraft in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. Hypocrisy In Salem And The Crucible Proctor knows that unlike most of the other people who have gotten hanged, his is not completely innocent. No one even considers Mary's statement about sticking the needle in herself. This causes problems down the line as Parris allows his paranoia about losing his position to translate into enthusiasm for the witch hunt. These hypocritical actions take away from the authority of the person or people committing them. -Hypocrisy is the state of falsely claiming to possess virtuous characteristics that one lacks. This is a decision with dire consequences in a town where reputation is so important, a fact that contributes to the misunderstanding that follows. In one of the most well-known quotes in the play, John Proctor angrily insists that the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom (pg. I am with God, I, Danforth expresses his opinions on lying when Mary Warren enter his court to confess herself and he begins the conversation by saying, How were you instructed in your life? Though hysteria overpowered the reputations of the accused in the past two acts, in act 4 the sticking power of their original reputations becomes apparent. Posted at 02:28h in motion to dismiss child support arrears by how does shakespeare present lady macbeth as ambitious. This attitude comes from a man who has shown no remorse for condemning people to death throughout the play. One such example would be the scene in which Proctor and Parris are discussing Parris style of sermon, when Parris randomly exclaims that he is not being provided with as much wood as his contract spells out, as well as arguing for an extra six pounds per year. 133). Proctor changes from a normal citizen and sinner to a tragic hero with a high sense of morality. People who were accused of witchcraft are wrongfully indicted, and those transgressions must be justified. 91). I chose . An example would be something like: "How are themes like hysteria, hunger for power, reputation, or any of a number of others functional in the drama? In the book the Crucible there are many hypocrites some dishonest some just following any one to be guilty, but one of the many character is Judge Danforth he mocks Marry when he ask "How were you instructed in your life? It is another trait we inherited from them, and it has helped to discipline us as well as to breed hypocrisy among us.'' Here's another example of a potential essay question for The Crucible that's less explicit in its request for you to discuss themes of the play: "Most of the main characters in the play have personal flaws and either contribute to or end up in tragedy. 50). Even before Abigail makes accusations, rumors of witchcraft have morphed into accepted truths in the minds of the more superstitious members of the community. In the case of a play like The Crucible, themes are revealed mainly through the dialogue of the characters. Demosthenes made fun of Aeschines, a famous Greek politician who was also an actor, basically . She beg me make charm (Miller, pg. These types of statements made by Hale earlier in the play become even more ironic in Act 4 when he realizes he made a horrible mistake by trusting the evidence that was presented to him. The faces that people present to the public are designed to garner respect in the community, but the witch trials have thrown this system into disarray. Danforth also acts out of concern for his reputations here. Danforth is the governor of Massachusetts who thinks of himself as a fair man. The irony is that, in the face of Johns rejection, Abigail turns around and creates her own lies soon after that give her increased control over the society she resents. She is enraged when Parris questions her suspicious dismissal from the Proctor household. Why is everyone so quick to believe Abigails story? Proctors good reputation is almost a burden for him at this point because he knows that he doesnt deserve it. 119). Miller depicts through characters such as these that humans cannot exist without the flaw of hypocrisy. She comes to me while I sleep; shes always making me dream corruptions! pg. Choose a single character and discuss how this person embodies one of the themes. Once the accusations begin, Parris initiates an ironic thought process that persists throughout The Crucible: You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba! (pg. Hale is convinced that a scientific inquiry based only on facts and reality can be conducted to detect a supernatural presence. (pg. While I speak Gods law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering (pg. It is used to draw away from a person's counterargument through addressing something unrelated. To Danforth, anything that doesnt confirm that he was right all along is a lie. Arthur Miller's 1953 play, ''The Crucible,'' features hypocrisy as a recurrent theme. Through this statement he clearly demonstrates his belief that lying will send a person to Hell. Mary Warrens sense of self-importance has increased as a result of the perceived value of her participation in court. Hale also makes some unintentionally ironic statements in Act 1 when he begins his investigation. This leads to Marys hysterical accusation of Proctor after she finds herself targeted by the other girls and about to be consumed by the hysteria herself if she doesnt contribute to it. Choose a single character and discuss how this person embodies one of the themes. When she cant get John to abandon Elizabeth for her, she decides to take matters into her own hands and gain control through manipulating the fears of others. It's here that we see the hypocrisy of the situation. And he goes to save her, and, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out." . (Cheever pg. Here again, he is driving the point home that the villagers were greedy and seeking land, so they put some of the pillars of the community to death for their own gain. A theme is a central topic that is addressed by a work of literature. Ironically, though she is normally honest to a fault, in this situation Elizabeth decides to lie to preserve Johns reputation, not knowing he has already confessed. No one thinks a teenage orphan girl is capable of such extensive deception (or delusion), so she is consistently trusted. It helped me pass my exam and the test questions are very similar to the practice quizzes on No one thinks a teenage orphan girl is capable of such extensive deception (or delusion), so she is consistently trusted. The importance placed on reputation helps perpetuate hysteria because it leads to inaction, inflexibility, and, in many cases, active sabotage of the reputations of others for selfish purposes. Upon arriving in the court Mary Warren says, I cannot lie no more. flashcard sets. In this environment, whoever yells the loudest seems to get the most credibility. The court refuses to challenge anyone who claims to have been afflicted. As this hysteria begins to rise, other people such as Thomas Putnam, a rich landowner, start to also allege Salem villagers. Many people are under the impression that irony is just when something happens that you don't expect (or that you really hoped wouldn't happen). Ann Putnam jumps at any opportunity to blame supernatural forces for the deaths of her children. Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar!" She attended church regularly and was the embodiment of how a Puritan woman should behave. This includes not only accusatory lies about the involvement of others in witchcraft but also the lies that people consistently tell about their own virtuousness and purity in such a repressive society. Each new false confession is thrown onto the pile of evidence of a grand Satanic plot, and as the pile grows larger, the hysteria surrounding it is fed generously. Here are some discussion questions to consider after reading about the thematic role of the concepts of power and authority in the events of the play: Mary Warren when she comes back from Salem in Act 2. Abigail's version of events is held to be true even after John confesses to their affair in a final effort to discredit her. The attitudes towards women in the 1950s, when the play was written, are evident in the roles they're given. Danforth insists that John must know more about the Devil's dealings than he has revealed. This fact could destroy his credibility, so he is biased towards continuing to trust Abigail. In reality. The town suspected her of lewd dealings, so she was put to death for it. An ad hominem means that it shifts the argument away from the issue to a personal attack on the person involved. Later in Act 4, Danforth becomes angry at the implication that Johns confession may not be the truth. He appears to have no governing system of morality. Miller himself was blacklisted for refusing to testify in front of the HUAC, a committee that was created to investigate any person who might be a communist. Hale tries to combat his guilt by persuading the prisoners to confess, refusing to accept that the damage has already been done. Danforth wont listen to him for this reason. The human lust and want for power has been and is the base of each and every witch-hunt. In telling people they must confess to their crimes or be hanged, the officials show that they have already decided the person is guilty no matter what evidence is provided in their defense. 119). The Judge forcing people to lie to save their lives he cant see the wrong hes doing. He is somewhat responsible for all of the witch trials; if he wouldn't of committed adultery with Abigail, she wouldn't have gone on her rampage of blaming people. This lie essentially condemns both of them. John attempts to crush his guilt instead of facing it, which only ends up making it an even more destructive factor in his life. Hereferences the many sentencing decisions he has already made in the trials of the accused. Danforth also acts out of concern for his reputations here. This is irony of the same type that I discussed in the overview of this theme. When Hale asks him to recite his commandments, the only one he forgets is adultery. This act also sees the irony of Hale discussing the powers of the dark that are attacking Salem (pg. Act 4 is Danforths turn to shine in the irony department. Reverend Parris is in a position of power as the town's spiritual leader, but he is insecure about his authority. He is weak and vulnerable after Abigail's theft of his life's savings, and hes even facing death threats from the townspeople as a result of John and Rebecca's imminent executions. The authorities ignore any inconvenient logical objections to the proceedings because they, too, are swept up in the madness. Sign language interpreters, though extremely helpful, do not allow deaf audience members to fully experience a show. Though Rebecca Nurse's involvement has already been corroborated by other confessors, Danforth demands to hear it from John to confirm that John is fully committed to renouncing his supposed ties to Satan. He. 121). In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the setting is Salem, Massachusetts during the late 1600s where the towns pious Puritan beliefs directly influence their government. "She sat to dinner in Reverend Parris's house tonight, and without word nor warnin' she falls to the floor. Fear plays an immense role in the way people make their decisions, such as when the characters of Danforth and Mary Warren . Tituba is conscious that she is in danger, she is also very frightened because her slave sense has warned her that, as always, trouble in this house eventually lands on her back (Miller, pg. Every person has some kind of flaw; no one is completely perfect. Danforth continues to demonstrate the effects of hysteria in act 4 even after things have died down a bit in Salem and there have been rumblings of discontent about the courts actions. The whole purpose of a trial is to hear both sides of the story before a verdict is reached. He questions Abigail aggressively because hes worried his enemies will learn the full story of what happened in the woods first and use it to discredit him. Miller explains this further: ''long-held hatreds of neighbors could now be openly expressed, and vengeance taken, despite the Bible's charitable injunctions.'' This vicious cycle continues to claim the lives of more and more people as the play progresses. Will you confess yourself with him? (pg. In Act 2, John Proctors guilt over his affair with Abigail is demonstrated through an ironic exchange with Reverend Hale. Danforth explains that witchcraft is an invisible crime and that only the victims are reliable. Some will be very direct. In today's society no one want to hear about something they fear, they would rather it be left alone than try to understand it. Even with prompts that ask you to discuss a specific character or plot point, you can find ways to connect your answer to major themes. Here are a few questions related to this theme that you can use to test your grasp of irony and its significance as a theme in The Crucible: Hale wrongly assumes that his academic mindset will save him from jumping to the wrong conclusions in the witchcraft investigation. Copyright 2023 All rights reserved. The narrator tells the audience that there is very little good to be said of him (Miller 1100), yet as a minister the people of the town look to him to be a pious religious leader. Through Abigail Williams, Miller was trying to state the injustice in Salem because she targeted the innocent people, leading to their death. By examining the characters of the play, I believe that the three major characters who should be blamed the most for the witch trials are Abigail Williams. What are some of the factors that feed the panic and suspicion in Salem, and why are. 130). In saying this he admits that a person can only avoid a hanging by confessing to witchcraft even if their statement contains no truth. Tituba, the slave of Reverend Parris, is the first to admit to dancing with the devil. By Act 2, there have been notable changes in the power structure in Salem as a result of the ongoing trials. The price he has to pay in reputation to save his own life is ultimately too high. The theme of guilt is one that is deeply relevant to John Proctor's character development throughout the play. He says, I would to God it were not so, Excellency, but these people have great weight yet in the town (pg. The Crucible is a play written by American author, Arthur Miller, in 1953. The main point that the story revolves around is that people would rather lie and blame someone else instead of confessing and accepting the punishment. 123). As he says,How may I live without my name? This shows us how one person who starts. The two characters that could have ended the mass hysteria are Abigail Williams and Deputy Governor Danforth. Hales involvement is taken to mean that there must be a supernatural element to Bettys illness. Act 4 is Danforths turn to shine in the irony department. For example, Bridget Bishop dressed in red, a color that was abhorrent in the Puritan eyes. One path to higher standing and greater control would be in becoming John Proctors wife. By Act 2, there are nearly 40 people in jail accused of witchcraft. Do you not know that God damns all liars? (Miller 101). Though a character can have significant moral flaws, they can be wise enough to recognize their flaws and change their ways. The town slips further and further into chaos and paranoia until it reaches a point of total devastation.
13823184d2d515032 What To Wear In The Hamptons In The Fall, Top Of The Rock Express Pass Worth It, Cocker Spaniel Puppies Sioux Falls, Sd, Does Pep Delay Antibody Test, Unit 3 Progress Check Mcq Ap Bio Quizlet, Articles I