Time and Time Again Power Corrupts “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This quote by politician Lord Acton has a lot to do with The Crucibles. The Crucibles, a play written by Arthur Miller takes place during the Salem witch trials. In this play a lot more was happening than just the hanging of witches. There was also corruption of power and authority in the court, specifically by a judge named Danforth.
The Trials and Testimonies of John Proctor The Crucible by Arthur Miller is set in the spring and fall of 1692 in a small, Puritan town in Salem, Massachusetts. The times are often desperate with people wondering if they can trust their neighbors that they have known all of their life, people who have been settled in the town since it first cropped into existence. Fear races through the villages like the whispers of the wind that stir the hanging bodies on the village greens. The Salem Witch Trials are occurring and no man, woman, or child is safe lest they follow the rules of the theocracy set about by the church and government.
In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, we’re introduced to the Small town of Salem, Massachusetts, 1692. The town is governed by a Theocracy which means god is the almighty ruler. After Betty, last living daughter of Reverend Parris, falls “ill” and panic breaks out as the Girls of Salem are to soon be accused of witchcraft. Once Tituba and Abigail “confess” that people in the town are witches the stage has now been set. Throughout The Crucible three categories of people show their lust for power over the theocracy that rules over Salem.
When people are accused of a crime they didn’t commit, it often has lasting effects on them and their loved ones. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, he explores the Salem Witch trials with characters that are accused of a crime they clearly didn’t commit, and are sent to their death. In a similar fashion, the five adolescents who were accused and found guilty of a heinous crime in New York City were ultimately found innocent after they served years and had eliminated a chance of restoring their youth. In the Central Park Five court case that occurred in New York City during the late 1980’s, the idea that a hero is someone valiant is proven by Antron Mccray. In the play, the Crucible by Arthur Miller, it displays that a hero is honest based on
Integrity’s Role in The Crucible and in Today’s Society Interpreted literally, a crucible simply refers to a large caldron, in which metals are melted down. But symbolically, a crucible can be considered a test of one’s moral righteousness, whether one softens when things get hot or chooses to stand firm. Integrity, or the lack thereof, plays a huge role in both The Crucible and in today’s world; displaying the characteristic of integrity is important in the play, and it is important in the present. John Proctor sacrifices himself in order to spread the truth. After tearing his confession to shreds, he states, “You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see a shred of good in John Proctor.
The Tragic Hero, John Proctor The Crucible is a depiction of the hardships from the Puritan lifestyle. The story brought out the true characteristics of Puritan believers, shadowed by the evils in the world. During the Salem Witch Trials people were hysterical due to their dealings with the devil. Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, and Mercy Lewis started the accusations that would lead to the end of innocent men and women including John Proctor.
A man blinded by vanity can have his own perception of his importance in his community wrapped into the image of him being more important than he is. In act four John is asked by Judge Danforth to sign his name on his confession of witchcraft after signing it Procter refuses to allow it to be taken stat-ing “You will not use me! I am not Sarah Good or Tituba, I am john Proctor! You will not use me! It is no part of salvation that you should use me!”(Miller Pg.
Ignorance is a trait that plagues the world today. Whether intended or not, every person has some form of ignorance on a subject. In today’s society, we are sometimes required to make decisions on subjects that we have ignorance on. John Proctor’s fate and Miller’s idea of society and a tragic hero are used to demonstrate the dangers of false knowledge to convey that decisions made from ignorance lead to corruption and manipulation.
Amongst the lines of Arthur Miller’s compelling play, “The Crucible”, Miller introduced the significance of the power of persuasion when it is applied by the authorities and how much control they are capable of. Within the message, the playwright presents to the readers/viewers, there are symbolic connections to the real world, revealing human nature and the diverse forms of disposition. Within a distinct society lies the rich and the poor as well as the powerful and the powerless. Which type of person immediately has the advantage?
The pursuit of power outweighs moral motives causing the manipulation of fear and its detrimental consequences. In The Crucible, Miller represents the dangers political power poses to individuals that are manipulated with fear for political gain through the parallel of the 17th century Salem Witch Trials to the 20th century McCarthy trials. In both contexts individuals experience social injustice as a result of political wrongdoing. Salem “developed a theocracy… to keep the community together” whose fundamental purpose was to guarantee that individuals in society adhere to a moral code of conduct. However, this theocracy enabled religious individuals to further their motive of power by dictating the lives of others.
In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible (1953), he shows the corruptness of the courts and their influence on the decisions of Abigail Williams. Abby was just a girl, she loved to pretend. She and the other girls of Salem loved it, they danced in the woods and pretended to be witches. That is until they were found by Reverend Parris, after which two girls pretended to be bewitched because they were afraid of the consequences. This is the beginning of the chaos that would consume Salem, ending in almost 20 innocents hung.