During the Salem Witch Trials, when people were accused of witchcraft, the main goal of the courts was to get a confession from the accused. Although there were some who would not confess and were sentenced to being hung or pressed. One of the reasons the court wants a confession is so that they can try and save the accused of the devil’s workings. A prime example of this during Act One was when Reverend Hale says to Tituba, “You have confessed yourself to witchcraft, and that speaks a wish to come to Heaven’s side” (Miller 46). Tituba’s original intention was most likely not
The play was not only inspired by the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692 but the McCarthy trials during the 1950’s. The play centers around the extreme behavior that can result from dark desires and hidden agendas. And as one reads this historical drama they discover many universal and enduring themes. Three universal themes that I will discuss are good vs. evil, justice, and religion. The first theme that I will discuss is religion.
So people like writers, intellectuals, and artists are a major threat to Stalin. They could try to sway public opinion of Stalin being a perfect man through their works. So Stalin censored their work and arrested them. The poet Osip Mandelstam was one such writer and was arrested for reciting his famous anti-Stalin poem Stalin Epigram to his circle of friends in 1934. Another example would be theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold who was arrested in 1939 and shot in February 1940 for supposedly spying for Japanese and British intelligence.
Witches are secret enemies within, who look the same as everyone else until they are exposed, and this need to uncover hidden malice is what distinguishes witch-hunting from other forms of communal persecution. Once identified, witches are either brought back into the body politic through a process of confession and expiation, or expelled completely. Either way, the magical cause of misfortune is removed and the social balance restored. (Armstrong 224) This explanation covers all the bases. How witch hunts come about (through enemies or threats), the process of a witch hunt (trials of a sort), the conclusion (the removal of the accused), and finally, the end goal of returning to normal.
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Witchcraft was nothing like a new phenomenon, it was seen as a practical practice in part of traditional villages and cultures for many centuries. Throughout time, witchcraft came to be viewed as both dangerous and sinister, and many churches began to connect the transformation of witchcraft as activities of the Devil. Many people were accused of witchcraft practices after the establishment of the Inquisition during the thirteenth century. Multiple witchcraft trials were held throughout England, Switzerland, Scotland and Germany, and those who were suspected of witchcraft were turned over to secular authorities in order to be burned at the stake or to be hanged. To begin with, the spread of witchcraft was increased dramatically as well as the
Power, the ability to maintain control, command, or authority over others can often be determined by one’s reputation and their ability to persuade others. This principle is displayed within The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, which follows the town of Salem, Massachusetts navigating through a “Witchcraft” outbreak supposedly lead by the Devil. Within such a theocratic society such as Salem, the Devil is often associated with death, fear, and uncertainty, with his name alone often believed to influence others into following through with certain actions. The Devil, as a key figure behind the “witchcraft” occurring in Salem, is crafted by Miller as the most influential “character” based off the fear derived from his infamous reputation and his ability to control characters’ actions. Within a society with very strong puritan ideals, the Devil is renowned for his cruel reputation.
The Crucible is a story by Arthur Miller this story was released during the Mccarthyism era and is written to relate what is going on during Mccarthyism time and compared to what had happened during the time of the Salem witch trials. The setting or the crucible will impact the characters, the plot and the tone of the story. The setting of The Crucible affected the characters because during this period of time Salem Massachusetts was a Puritan colony. The Puritans were very strict people, for example on page 1154 of Arthur Miller's The Crucible Paris the town's Minister threatens to beat his slave Tituba “ You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to death Tituba” that statement says that the fact that Parris is going to whip Tituba to death if she doesn't do what he says and confess that he is willing to kill anyone who does not follow the rules. Another
When Mary Warren is in the courtroom, she confesses to lying about seeing spirit she says, “I am with God now” (1200). When Mary Warren says this all the things Hale heard from Proctor turn out to be true. Up until this moment Hale had no strong evidence to support there were no witches in Salem, just his supsision. Now with this confession Hale is set on helping those under accusations from the girls. Hale’s opinion during the beginning half of his time in Salem was that there were in facts witches loose in Salem, and anyone could be a suspect.
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.
Based on Miller’s allegory in The Crucible on the McCarthy hearings is that Parris was an unfair judge. Parris is displayed in court as an accuser, he accuses the victims until they either give in or give up on defending themselves. He is one of the instigators of the trials and their proceedings. Witches represent communists, he is accusing people and over and over, feeding those who confess information discreetly, so they accuse those that are innocent for personal revenge. When in Act 3 Parris says, “This is a clear attack on the court!” When he says this, he is defending his reputation and the court in fear of being exposed because part of him knows this isn’t true.
The Crucible expresses this trait by telling a story of the Salem witch trials. It is also meant to be an allegory of the second Red Scare. Even though the literal plot of the play is the trials, the hidden message is that the story symbolizes how Joseph McCarthy acted during the 1940s. It was truly a witch-hunt. These are the descriptions and similarities between the Salem witch trials and the modern act of
Arthur Miller makes many different connections to the acts of Senator McCarthy throughout The Crucible. The Salem Witch Trials display many similarities to the acts of Communism in the 1950’s. First of all, false accusations and accusations made without any hard evidence are seen in both The Crucible and the acts of Senator McCarthy. John Proctor in The Crucible was put accused and put on trial for taking part or concealing witchcraft without any evidence of this actually happening. Just like Proctor, Arthur Miller was accused for being a communist during the McCarthy era, although nothing could prove this.
In literature alone, there are many stories that are categorized as allegories due to messages or lessons that are implied in the writing. By definition, an allegory is a something that has a hidden or symbolic meaning. Of course they are not just limited to stories; allegories are also expressed in the form of a poem, a picture, or a movie. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a good example of an allegory for it tells of a significant event in history in which a small town of Massachusetts named Salem had been controlled by a paranoia of witches after watching a few of the town girls showing off odd behaviors and participating in occult activities. The Crucible by Arthur Miller is an allegory for Subversive Activities Control Board,
During the witch trials, the accused were interrogated and forced to plead guilty of witchcraft or die. Most pleaded guilty just to save their life, but they were also forced to give up the names of other “witches”. Blaming others could also direct the blame from the accused to someone else, this way the accused could escape the pain and shame of being called a witch. In Cotton Mather Biography, it is stated that, “As the trials progressed, and growing numbers of person confesses to being witches.” This portrays the on going snowball effect of blaming other people of witchcraft. This is also depicted in the McCarthy hearings, for accused communists were pressured to give up the other communists.