The Dangers Of Characters In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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The play The Crucible written by Arthur Miller, takes place in the strict Puritan town of Salem, during the late 1600s. In the beginning of the play, Reverend Parris, the town’s minister, discovers a group of girls dancing in the forest. Abigail Williams, the niece of Reverend Parris, defends herself by deflecting the blame onto Tituba, a slave woman, of witchcraft. Rumors of witchcraft quickly spread so the town brings in Reverend Hale, a so called witchcraft expert, to identify the “witches”. In order to live, the accused must accuse other people of witchcraft. Because Abigail once had an affair with John Proctor, she still has feelings for him and thus accuses his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, of witchcraft. Realizing the severity of the situation, …show more content…
In order to get rid of Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams accuses her of witchcraft. Because of this, Reverend Hale suspects John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor of not being holy Puritans. Hale begins his interrogation by asking John Proctor for his reason for skipping church on Sundays. Then he further presses the Proctor family by telling them to recite the Ten Commandments. Defensively, Hale explains his reason for his suspicions, “Goody Proctor, I do not judge you. My duty is to add what I may to the godly wisdom of the court.”(p 67) In a theocracy such as this, must one prove themselves to be holy Christians in order to avoid getting in trouble with the court. In a Puritan society, religion is the law. Therefore, by not going to Church, John Proctor increases Hale’s suspicion of the Proctors being involved with witchcraft. When Hale talks about the “godly wisdom of the court” he implies that God’s words, the Bible, are the laws of the court. A theocratic government does not allow the court to be wrong. Going against the court would be going against God himself. Any other beliefs or actions that do not strictly follow the Bible are considered to be taboo and illegal. In a theocratic Puritan society, not going to church or baptizing children raises suspicion for being associated with the devil which is a …show more content…
For example, little nuances in religious behavior can raise suspicion which can have the potential to get people in legal trouble. John Proctor skipping church and not baptizing his child causes Reverend Hale to suspect the Proctor household of being impure Puritans. A theocratic government also does not allow any individuals to disagree with it. Any disputes over the legal actions of the court are considered disagreements with God. Another problem is that a theocracy also accepts superstition. Because Abigail and the group of girls have already created a strong veil of lies, John Proctor and Mary Warren fail to reveal the truth to the court. In a theocracy, the court creates stubborn decisions due to the rigid nature of the Bible. Miller’s overall message of the play warns people about the dangers of having a strong tyrannical government where accusations alone can send an individual to their demise. A theocratic government views most matters in black and white and lacks religious tolerance and equality. To ensure the people’s safety and to protect the integrity of the government, the legal system needs to be independent of religion and must require factual information as

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