How Does Elizabeth Proctor Find Power In The Crucible

703 Words3 Pages

Twenty people were executed as a result of the Salem witch trials, a reign of terror that

swept up most of the characters in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. Salem is a small Puritan

town ruled by a theocratic government. The social order of Salem starts with the church leaders

and wealthy male land owners and ends with young, unmarried woman and slaves. The church

is structured as an earthly representation of biblical law and possesses the power to persecute

those outside the holy edicts. Women are subservient to men, cannot own property and are

viewed with suspicion in the church. Throughout the play, those with power attempt to assert it

while those with little power exploit the fear of witch craft to their advantage. The Salem witch …show more content…

However, by recruiting many other young women, Abigail is able to spread a

rumor condemning the high status members of the community, thus gaining power. An

example of her vengeance is when she claimed that Elizabeth Proctor used witchcraft to attack

her. After that claim, Elizabeth was arrested despite her innocence. Due to the superstition of

the community, Abigail's wild claims cannot be ignored for fear that they could be true. The

witch trials also empowered the District Commissioner, Danforth, who had tried to stop the

spread of “witchcraft” in another town but failed. In fact the people of that town, Andover,

actually had a rebellion and kicked Danforth out. Danforth felt that he needed to redeem his

reputation, so he gave himself all the power in Salem and was the final decision maker in every

witch case. Reverend Hale was also empowered in the Salem witch trials. During the beginning

and middle parts of the book, Hale’s knowledge on witchcraft was used to see if people who

were accused were actually witches. An example of this was in Act I when he first tested

Open Document