Examples Of Mass Hysteria In The Crucible

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Have you ever been accused of something you certainly did not indulge in? In the play The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, the townspeople of Salem were subject to accusations of partaking in witchcraft, leading to the rise of mass hysteria. Mass hysteria is arguably the most dominant theme of the play, as the people of Salem are engulfed by worries related to witchcraft and accusations of people worshiping the devil. Mass hysteria is a condition that affects a group of people identified by anxiety, excitement, unreasonable actions or beliefs, or unexplainable symptoms of sickness. Arthur Miller explores mass hysteria through the lens of Salem and his characters by portraying vindictive and manipulative behavior within characters such as Abigail, Judge Danforth, and Reverend Hale. …show more content…

Abigail was the initiator of the mass hysteria traveling throughout Salem. She tended to accuse those she felt got in the way of what she desired of witchcraft. The word of Abigail had caused many people to be hanged. Because of the clever and malicious behavior she depicted, she was feared by many. She even went as far as leading accusations of some of the most well-respected people in town. If Abigail had not been so vindictive and selfish, mass hysteria could have been avoided in Salem. Another character responsible for the mass hysteria was Judge Danforth. Judge Danforth put fear into the town that being convicted was inescapable. He discredited confessions from those who were innocent, and he proclaimed that those who refused to confess to being hanged. At this rate, the townspeople were in survival mode. People were convicting others to protect themselves, regardless of the cost. Had he put an end to the accusations of others and publicity recognized the issue, mass hysteria could have been prevented from spreading

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