How To Maintain Power In The Crucible

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Spreading Fear to Maintain Power
Arthur Miller's The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts; a town that is soon to be plagued with dark times. When accusations are made that girls of the town are performing witchcraft, everyone is thrown into mass hysteria. With total chaos, some of the members see this as an opportunity to seize control of the situation. These individuals establish and maintain this power through spreading terror and fear over the majority. This is done by threatening other characters, using their unjust credibility and abusing authoritative positions.
In The Crucible, threatening other characters is a perfect example of how an individual is able to maintain power through spreading fear. During the first act, Abigail
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Reverend John Hale is horribly guilty of this trait in the first act. showing up after the accusations to appease the people. Finally able to use his studies of witchcraft, and armed with his heavy “authoritative” books, he professes “Here is all the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated. In these books the Devil stands stripped of all his brute disguises. Here are all your familiar spirits—your incubi and succubi; your witches that go by land, by air, and by sea; your wizards of the night and of the day. Have no fear now—we shall find him out and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!”(39). Hale is forcefully making these innocent people put every drop of faith into his words, solely through his experience, to gain power over them through that trustworthiness. Establishing power through unjust credibility also applies to Reverend Parris, the man who is more concerned with his profession than his ill daughter. During the trial in the third act, Proctor has evidence that Mary Warren never saw any spirits. therefore proving everyone wrong. Parris dismays this, and informs Danforth to: “Beware this man, Your Excellency, this man is mischief.”(88). Parris could have potentially thrown out any hope for justice to be served for this case, because ,as a Reverend, his word is revered and respected. These men are able to
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