Fear And Pride In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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The years of 1692 and 1693 were a confusing period of unwarranted persecution and punishment in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a historically fictitious play that depicts the disarray and corruption of the time. When a group of girls are caught scandalously dancing in the woods, they turn to accusing others of witchcraft to save themselves. The story portrays that people will perpetuate and defend their mistakes out of fear, shame, or pride. This timeless theme is ever-present in the story, and it is displayed by Mary Warren’s looming fear, Abigail William’s daunting shame, and Judge Danforth’s selfish pride. Mary Warren is a prime example of how fear can lead a person to defend their past wrongs. She …show more content…
The judge likes being in a position of power and making influential decisions. The particular decisions he has made in Salem have been huge. His rulings have imprisoned countless people, and when everything is said and done, 20 people have been hanged. The town has been satisfied with the rulings until upstanding citizens are sent to the gallows. Rebecca Nurse, Martha Corey, and John Proctor are all scheduled to hang together. The entire town thinks of these people with high opinions, and very few believe any have anything to do with witchcraft. In addition, Abigail Williams has just run away with all her uncle’s money. She was desperate because she realized her testimony was weakening. John Hale also believes Nurse, Corey, and Proctor are innocent, and he attempts to convince Danforth to pardon them. The proud judge refuses: “You misunderstand, sir; I cannot pardon these when twelve are already hanged for the same crime. It is not just” (Miller 1324). Danforth refuses to save three innocent lives because his pride is on the line. He knows that if he allows these three condemned people to live, the town will question his previous rulings. The 12 people who have been executed were mistakes, and Danforth knows that, but he continues to perpetuate his errors and kill the innocent. When John Proctor initially confesses to witchcraft, Danforth is filled with relief: “Praise to God, man, praise to God; you shall be blessed in Heaven for this” (Miller 1330). Danforth believes that if one of the condemned admits to witchcraft, Salem’s faith in the court rulings will be restored. However, Proctor soon reveals that he was lying with the hopes of saving his life. When Proctor proclaims his innocence, he is sentenced to hang. Judge Danforth defends and continues his mistakes out of his selfish

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