Theme Of Guilt In The Crucible

780 Words 4 Pages
In the story The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the central idea of guilt is powerful on one's decision to confess or not to confess. This concerns confessing to witchcraft and general confessions to save others or to save oneself. The author uses characterization on multiple characters to support this. Such characters include John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and Rebecca Nurse.
John Proctor is put into a strenuous situation where he must try to prove his wife of innocence to witchcraft. Johns wife, Elizabeth, was accused of witchcraft by their old servant Abigail Williams whom John had an affair with. After John broke it off and made it clear to Abigail they would never become something, Abigail went to seek revenge on him by targeting his wife and accusing her of witchcraft simply out of jealousy. Elizabeth is proven guilty to be a witch and is sentenced to hang in less than a year since she is pregnant. John knows to save Elizabeth's life he must confess to the affair. John states “I have known her, sir. I have known her” (Miller 110). John feels very guilty that Elizabeth has to pay the price and suffer for his action so he owns up to lechery in order to prove Abigail is making up the witchcraft. John's guilt causes him to confess putting him in a
…show more content…
The power of confessing or not shows the truth about the morality of the character. The author uses the literary element of characterization to prove this. John Proctor feels guilt to confess about cheating on his wife in hopes to save his wife from being in jail and potentially hung. Elizabeth Proctor feels guilt about John confessing to the affair in hopes to save her, so she confesses that she was the reason why he cheated because she was not being a good wife. And lastly, Rebecca Nurse guilting Proctor into choosing morality over his life. Guilt is powerful on one's decision to confess or not to confess and further extends the characterization of a

Related Documents