Fear that spread among a group of people in Salem during the Salem Witch Trials, that event in history is a prime example of Mass Hysteria. In Salem the reason why so many women were killed was because of Mass Hysteria. It caused many people, in Salem during this event to think fast, rash and jump to conclusions. “The Crucible”, a short play dedicated to these events in Salem shows us how hysteria was such a leading cause of why the Witch Trials had even occurred. Reverend Hale, Abigail Williams and Judge Danforth. These three characters can be the most to blame for the cause of the spread and start of hysteria in Salem during the Witch Trials. The cause of the hysteria was caused by Reverend Hale, Abigail Williams and Judge Danforth.
The Crucible is a play written by American author, Arthur Miller, in 1953. It is a somewhat fictional play about the Salem Witch Trials. Miller wrote it as an allegory to the Red Scare, the promotion of fear of a potential rise of communism. Miller himself was blacklisted for refusing to testify in front of the HUAC, a committee that was created to investigate any person who might be a communist. Miller addresses a similar hysteria throughout his play. In The Crucible, there are many characters that feed into or contribute to the rapid spread of witch hysteria in the small village of Salem. The two characters that could have ended the mass hysteria are Abigail Williams and Deputy Governor Danforth.
Arthur Miller's The Crucible highlights a human frailty, arrogance, responsible for the witch hysteria in the 1690s. Each character portrays arrogance which make him abuse power. The play explores the human nature of being arrogant and the fear of tarnishing one's reputation, by acting unmorally. Through Hale's, Parris's, and Danforth's actions, Miller indicates that arrogance is the frailty most responsible for the witch hysteria.
Judge Danforth’s position in the crucible is the Judge assigned to the proceedings of the Salem witch trials. Instead of treating this immense responsibility with the respect and restraint that is needed, Danforth abused his power by betraying the people of Salem and the Law. He did not listen to the people of Salem defending themselves before inevitably being sent to death; and he cared more about his reputation and the law than he did about peoples’ lives.
The Devil has returned putting children under his control is what many people believed in Salem village in 1962. In ¨ The Crucible¨ by Arthur Miller many people panicked from the witch hysteria which caused many to be accused of being witches, Judge Danforth decided what happens to the accused witches and is the most corrupted in Salem because his power of being a judge made him go overboard with his decisions on people. When he starts to realize he continues to avoid people from getting mad at him for putting innocent people in jail and killing them.
Power is something that allows the one with it to control and oppress others. In the play The Crucible by author Arthur Miller, use characters from the play to show power. However the character with the most power is Judge Danforth.
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is about the witch trials in ancient Salem, and how one girl’s love interest caused many people, including the one she loves, to be hanged due to being accused as a witch. Half Hanged Mary by Margaret Atwood is about Mary Webster, a woman accused of witchcraft and hanged for the crime, but managed to survive the night. In both of these texts there is evidence of a corrupted leadership.
“Danforth is a grave man in his sixties, of some humour and sophistication that does not
Arthur Miller's The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts; a town that is soon to be plagued with dark times. When accusations are made that girls of the town are performing witchcraft, everyone is thrown into mass hysteria. With total chaos, some of the members see this as an opportunity to seize control of the situation. These individuals establish and maintain this power through spreading terror and fear over the majority. This is done by threatening other characters, using their unjust credibility and abusing authoritative positions.
Reverend Hale and Judge Danforth are two authoritative figures in The Crucible whose roles in society are to lead the community in the ways and likeness of God so that the people of Salem can, basically, be good Puritans. Despite their similar intentions, there are also blaring differences which distinctly separate the two and their beliefs. To start, both Hale and Danforth work chiefly to serve God and lead his people on Earth to live holy and just lives. When the question of the Devil and witchcraft arise within Salem, both men come to investigate and cleanse the town of evil. While Judge Danforth considers himself “a minister of the Lord” and does “not take a life without there be proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may
Tituba, the slave of Reverend Parris, is the first to admit to dancing with the devil. Based on the background knowledge of the time, slaves were not considered part of the class system, so she was not valued as a community member. Tituba is conscious that she is in danger, “she is also very frightened because her slave sense has warned her that, as always, trouble in this house eventually lands on her back” (Miller, pg. 6). Tituba attempts to tell the truth about Abigail when she says, “You beg me to conjure! She beg me make charm” (Miller, pg. 44) but realizes that her word against Abigail will not stand. So, she decides to manipulate the situation by saying that the Devil has come to her and she has resisted his commands to kill Mr. Parris.
Judge Danforth’s unwavering egotism culminates in the unfortunate deaths of Salem townsfolk. Arthur Miller’s classic play The Crucible demonstrates how the actions of one person can affect many others. Judge Danforth cares more about his own reputation than what is right. Often times people try to think of what is right instead of saving their own face, Judge Danforth is an exception to this stereotype. The Salem Witch Trials were a horrible time where many people lost their lives due to an unjust court system. Anyone could accuse someone of witchcraft, and they would be taken seriously, people would often make up reasons for these accusations, and they were believed. The Crucible accurately portrays how the Salem Witch Trials changed Salem Massachusetts and the lives of its residents.
In our society, many people rely on the power of law and justice in order to protect themselves. Some powerful men abuse and misuse their power which brings many unfairnesses and tragedies. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Judge Danforth is a deputy governor of the state, and he is also the judge for the witchcraft trail. Judge Danforth represents the authority and supremacy in the entire play. Throughout the play, Danforth’s tyrannous and stubborn personality caused many wrong decisions that he made in the court. As the voice of authority of Salem, Judge Danforth leads to the tragedy of their social disturbance by breakdown Salem’s solidarity.
Antagonist: Abigail Williams stirs up the entire town of Salem against many people, including Elizabeth and John Proctor, because of her selfish ambition to be John’s next wife, as well as her treacherous lust for the power that she gains by accusing innocent people of witchcraft. She even threatens the girls that if they tell the truth (that shes lying ) then she’d – ‘..come to them in the black of some terrible night and shudder them’. She is threatening and clearly evil and the villain.