The Salem Witch Trials In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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In the year 1952, Arthur Miller published a play that would impact the world for decades to come. He based his play on the Salem witch trials, which took place in the late 1600’s in the deeply religious town of Salem. These trials were caused by the accusation of women doing the ‘work of the devil’ or in simpler terms, witchcraft. The deaths of dozens of women were recorded, but it remains unknown how many more died off the record because of such accusations. In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, he writes his take on what could have happened during the trials. According to Miller’s writings, the witch trials ran on fear. Throughout the play this becomes more and more apparent as the characters go along with the trials, seemingly unsure …show more content…
Proctor doesn’t give up easily though, he is stubbornly set on saving his wife, so he soon finds himself, along with Mary Warren, Giles, and Francis in the courtroom in an attempt to overthrow it. In the short amount of timed that has passed between Elizabeth’s arrest and the three mens’ attempts to save their wives from certain death, Mary Warren has become very ill and weak. She is being nearly dragged by Proctor as they enter the courtroom. The men plead with the judges that the girls that began the trials only faked seeing the dozens of accused women perform the work of the devil. A fragile and terrified Mary Warren testifies that the men are right, but she soon goes into a hysterical state and points to Proctor saying, “My name, he want my name. ‘I’ll murder you,’ he says, ‘if my wife hangs! We must go and overthrow the court,’ he says!” (119) With the threat of Mary Warren’s life if she dared not testify now known to the judges, her testimony is dismissed, along with the mens’ hopes of freeing their wives. The men are now filled with fear and sorrow, for they know their wives will not claim guilty for crimes they truly did not commit.
In The Crucible, the witch trials truly did run on nothing but fear itself. With the trials it became every man for himself; every accusation came the nearly guaranteed sparing of one life, the life of the accuser. Countless innocent lives could have been spared had there been more to being tried than being accused by a fellow townsperson. If the fear for one’s life intertwined with the deep religious beliefs wasn’t such a present aesthetic in Salem, perhaps the trials would have ended more rapidly or never occurred at

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