The Crucible Rhetorical Analysis

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Desperation and hysteria makes people susceptible to believe anything, which provides an opportunity for anyone to gain power. In “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, a group of young girls gain a significant amount of power in the court that is run by the majority of male Puritans in hysteric Salem. These girls, mostly Abigail Williams, portray themselves as victims of witchcraft to get the court officials to believe their stories. What they say gives them control over what happens in the court. Individual people can establish and maintain power over the majority through what they say and how they say it. This can be accomplished through lies, persuasion, and tone. When a person lies, they can gain control if others believe what is being said. …show more content…

The way Abigail says things instigates emotional reaction in others. Abigail’s dramatic way of stating her thoughts have an effect how how the court officials react: “I-I know not. A wind, a cold wind, has come” (108). Abigail’s tone is intended to be thrilling and exaggerated to imply heavily that a spirit is being cast on her by a witch. This ignites a sense of concern in Danforth as well as Judge Hathorne, giving Abigail the power to say anything and have him believe her. Mercy Lewis adds to the suspense by accusing Mary of casting the spirit in an interrogative tone. She suggests that Mary is the one responsible for the wind: “Mary, do you send this shadow on me?’ (109). Mercy’s tone adds a feeling of fear to the courtroom, giving the two girls and the rest of their group absolute control over what happens next. The girls could say anything and the male elect would believe them because they have been struck with panic that there is a witch in the room that has already acted. These feelings of concern, followed by fear are a result of the tones used by Abigail and Mercy, giving them the control of how the people in the courtroom

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