How Does Arthur Miller Use Dramatic Irony In The Crucible

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Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953, as a response to McCarthyism, which is, in general, accusing people of crimes with little to no proof. It ran rampant through the United States during the Second Red Scare through the early 1950s (exactly when Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible). In The Crucible, Miller juxtaposes the leaders, who rationally think for themselves, and the followers, who believe what everybody else believes, through irony, imagery, and denotation.
The Crucible is riddled with irony, and Arthur Miller utilizes situational and dramatic irony to show the difference between followers and leaders. When John Proctor admits his adultery, the Court asks him to sign a confession, and John Proctor declines. Parris responds to Proctor and says: “Proctor, the village must have proof that” you confessed to …show more content…

This demonstrates irony due to the fact that many (if not all) of the accused were convicted of witchcraft with no proof, other than simple testimony and hearsay. The Court became a follower and just went with whatever the accusers were saying, even with the lack of proof, and that was fine with the Court. One would expect that the Court would accept their own witnessing of John Proctor’s confession, but the Court decides that they need proof. This idea can be transferred over to the 1950s in the United States, where instead of witchcraft, it was Communism and Socialism. A person who even somewhat agreed with Communism and used their 1st Amendment rights to convey their idea could be discriminated against and blacklisted from many jobs, and even if they were not a Communist, the same could happen even with little to no proof, just as the supposed witches are in The Crucible. Slightly earlier in the play, upon Hale’s return to Salem, he believes that he has “blood on [his] head” because he arrested many people who were accused of witchcraft (and some hung for

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