Anti-Witch Scares In The Crucible

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Arthur Miller constructs his play upon the famous Salem witch trails. Miller 's Crucible was written in the early 1950s. Miller wrote his drama during the brief reign of the American senator Joseph McCarthy whose bitter criticized anti- communism sparkled the need for the United States to be a dramatic anti- communist society during the early tense years of the cold war. By orders from McCarthy himself, committees of the Congress commenced highly controversial investigations against communists in the U.S similar to the alleged Salem witches situation. Convict communists were ordered to confess their crime and name others to avoid the retribution. The new decision led to a cyclone of accusations because people realized the possibility of their…show more content…
As the disasters that befell Salem were caused by the young girls ' hysteria of witchcraft, some of Miller 's critics perceived Abigail and her squad of followers as maleficent and vindictive driven by anger, cruelty and personal interests. Elizabeth Frayn interprets the hostility of the girls as a natural reaction to the negative view they receive in their society. For instance, Abigail is always regarded as a malicious girl who seeks to supplant Elizabeth as Proctor 's wife, and she is further motivated by Proctor 's threat to expose their affair if she does not clear his wife 's name ( Frayn 95). The girls are controlled by a fanatic society. Like Abigail, each of those girls has her own cause to be angry and simulate to kill her victims. For instance, Betty Parris, the daughter of the clergyman could have done so because of her father 's hypocrisy and talking about nothing other than the horrors…show more content…
Proctor 's anger brings him to his moment of recognition by the end of the play. He is not the traditional tragic hero because he is at no high stature. From the very beginning he crawls under the burden of his guilt. On the contrary of a tragic hero, Proctor, through the crucible of testing he finds his real stature (Otten 69). Proctor, however, is an example of Miller 's definition of a tragic hero as " the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing, his sense of personal dignity" (Miller, tragedy 4). Proctor embodies this definition because his anger leads him to be free. He has the courage to reveal his anger at Salem and the courage to reveal his affair with Abigail when he tells judge Danforth that he is raising "a whore" over heaven ( II iv 110). His wrath at this evil Salem makes him believe that God has abandoned this place "I say, I say , that God is dead" ( III i 119), so the only thing to direct him is his will to do the right thing, that he can not embrace a lie to save himself. Thus, his
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