Fear that spread among a group of people in Salem during the Salem Witch Trials, that event in history is a prime example of Mass Hysteria. In Salem the reason why so many women were killed was because of Mass Hysteria. It caused many people, in Salem during this event to think fast, rash and jump to conclusions. “The Crucible”, a short play dedicated to these events in Salem shows us how hysteria was such a leading cause of why the Witch Trials had even occurred. Reverend Hale, Abigail Williams and Judge Danforth. These three characters can be the most to blame for the cause of the spread and start of hysteria in Salem during the Witch Trials. The cause of the hysteria was caused by Reverend Hale, Abigail Williams and Judge Danforth.
The Crucible is a play written by American author, Arthur Miller, in 1953. It is a somewhat fictional play about the Salem Witch Trials. Miller wrote it as an allegory to the Red Scare, the promotion of fear of a potential rise of communism. Miller himself was blacklisted for refusing to testify in front of the HUAC, a committee that was created to investigate any person who might be a communist. Miller addresses a similar hysteria throughout his play. In The Crucible, there are many characters that feed into or contribute to the rapid spread of witch hysteria in the small village of Salem. The two characters that could have ended the mass hysteria are Abigail Williams and Deputy Governor Danforth.
Hysteria can be defined as the exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people. This definition proves true and exists throughout the course of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. In The Crucible, a group of girls go dancing in a forest around a cauldron, some even naked, and along with a black slave named Tituba. Reverend Parris, the local minister, then catches the girls in the act. As a result, Betty, one of the girls and Parris’s daughter, goes into what it seems like a coma. This sparks rumors about witchcraft within the town of Salem, as everyone looks toward the girls involved in the forest incident for an answer. Abigail Williams, Parris’s niece and another girl who danced in the forest, begins to take
“Controlled hysteria is what’s required. To exist constantly in a state of controlled hysteria. It’s agony. But everyone has agony. The difference is that I try to take my agony home and teach it to sing” (Arthur Miller, AZ Quotes). In the play, the Crucible, by Arthur Miller, Salem, Massachusetts was a place of constant hysteria in the 1600s because of what would come to be commonly known as the Salem Witch Trials. This was a full-blown witch hunt for people found to display signs of witchcraft. Abigail Williams was the main person to blame for this pursuit of witches in Salem because, first off, she was the one who caused hysteria about witchcraft just to cover up the fact that
Franklin D. Roosevelt once stated “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” this is extremely apparent in the play The Crucible written by Arthur Miller that depicts the events that took place during the salem witch trials.These events in American history had countless similarities that led to the persecution of many innocent individuals. Arthur Miller effectively demonstrates this concept in his play The Crucible by drawing parallels between the witch trials of the 1690’s and the “The Great Fear” of the 1950’s.
The definition of “crucible” - in context to the theme of the play - reads, “a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.” In The Crucible, many people are tested in scenarios they would never have imagined would happen to them. Many different groups and families are drawn together, whether it’s to fight for one another, or against. As well as coming together, or being torn apart in a time of hysteria, every character’s morals are put to a severe test when truths and lies seep to the surface of their daily lives.
Human is a species that live in group, and conformity is one of the distinct characteristic of human nature. In the play The Crucible, Arthur Miller investigates various natures in community throughout Act 1 and 2. The play took place at Salem, a town that primarily based on puritanism, the major plot of this play is about witchcraft and witch hunt. Miller conveys a essential message of people always search for conformity from society as a form to prove their identity, further, any rebellion would consider as outcast from majority. The author explores the theme by the use of conflict, this literary element best demonstrates changes of characterizations and complication between others and internal struggle.
Certain crimes such as: Adultery, Murder and Theft, during the Puritan era were always diagnosed as inhumane and ruined a person's reputation, despite any attempt of redemption. Proctor’s crime of adultery is a key element in the starting of the salem witch trials and the devastating end. Proctors situation alternates throughout the novel consistently by other villagers and even Proctor himself. His crime at first is tried to be subdued by himself then it is later used as evidence in a trial and finally it is used as a confession however it ultimately is not believed. To begin Proctor first tries to hide is crime from the other villagers however Abigail seems to want to expose their relationship.
As Bob Marley once said, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” Integrity is the quality of being honest and upholding one’s morals and principles. Living in a fast-paced and ever-changing society, human beings have come into contact with adversity and hardship all throughout history. Those who act with integrity during tough times have a major influence on those around them, and taking a stand and upholding ones’ beliefs and morals at great self sacrifice can inspire and encourage others to do the same. Arthur Miller’s 1953 play, The Crucible is a prime example of upholding integrity, and the characters within the play face difficult choices between doing
When people are placed under an intense feeling of fear, they begin to commit actions they never thought they were capable over. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a young group of girls commit witchcraft which eventually leads to the arrest of over 100 women. This is similar to a time in the 1950s when Joseph McCarthy accuses government officials of communism and that ultimately leads to hundreds of citizens losing their jobs. The Crucible reveals the similarities between The Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and McCarthyism of the 1950s because it demonstrates how a society can be tremendously impacted by the feeling the fear.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne are two stories that are based on mass hysteria and public shaming. Both stories and their topics are what helped to shape America’s early identity. In The Crucible, the townsfolk accept and become active in the hysterical climate not only out of genuine religious piety but also because it gives them a chance to express repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges”. This shows that there is mass hysteria in the story based on the quotation and its explain why people have mass hysteria or why they do it. A group of teenage girls is discovered dancing naked in the woods by the town minister. Knowing that the punishment for their behavior will be severe, the girls claim that they were possessed by the spirits of
The Salem Witch trials took place in Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693 where people were killed if they were thought to be witches. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller writes about the witch trials and what happened during that time. The Crucible has many themes throughout the play. One prominent theme is the theme of mass hysteria. Mass hysteria is shown in many cases throughout the play such as the scenes when the people of the village of Salem are accused, in the court room while the people state their case, and when the townsfolk are about to be hung after failing to call out other witches.
In the Crucible, fear, hysteria, and revenge are the most important elements where fear spreads around the whole village. Hysteria involving witchcraft would end up with many innocent people killed. With many false accusations of a long held grudge with another villager would kill others they would have problems with.
The theme of hysteria is evident throughout Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and in everyday life and society. Driven by self-preservation, hysteria influences many characters’ actions and leads to the devastating witch trials in Salem.