The Many Challenges in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Essay

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The Many Challenges in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Arthur Miller’s famous drama The Crucible, a tale of how accusations and lies ruinously impact a whole community, is very aptly titled. By definition, a “crucible” is “a severe test,” and the challenges faced by Miller’s characters are many. The historical events dramatized in the play reflect how core human values, including truth, justice and love, are tested under life and death conditions. The trials of the characters and the values they hold dearly come when their simple, ordered world ceases to be black and white and easily deciphered, and is turned upside down in the gray shades of ambiguity.

A major test in The Crucible is found in how the household of John
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Even though Proctor realizes that coming forth and confessing to his lechery with Abigail will bring shame and dire consequences upon himself and his family, he steps forward to save the reputation and life of his wife. Proctor calls upon the court to summon his wife to verify his faithlessness, swearing “there are them that cannot sing and them that cannot weep---my wife cannot lie. I have paid much to learn it.” The irony of his confession of adultery to save his bride comes full circle when she denies his adultery to save him. Ultimately, Proctor chooses to denounce the lie of “doing the Devil’s work,” knowing that the choice of truth will mean his death. The value of justice in the ordered society of Salem is also put to the test. When Betty Parris, the daughter of the self-serving Reverend Parris, falls ill , “the whole country’s talkin’witchcraft.” Parris, to save his tenuous position as minister of the flock, calls in an expert in expelling demons, the Reverend John Hale. Reverend Hale is an intellectual, full of desire to put to practice the tools he possesses that are “weighted with authority.” As Reverend Hale responds to the pleas of parents to intervene on behalf of their daughters, the deceit of Abigail and the dancing girls takes on a life of its own, resulting in the formation of a tribunal to judge the implicated witches. The reverend finds

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