The Role Of Women In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

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When a woman is accused of being a witch and her life is in danger in 1600’s Salem, MA what recourse does she have to protect herself? Women of the time had no authority; they were seen as property of the men they married or were born to. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible takes place during the famous Salem witch trials. It all starts when young Abigail Williams has an affair with John Proctor and practices witchcraft in an attempt to kill John Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth. When Abigail is accused of witchcraft, she confesses and in order to take blame off of herself, she accuses many others as well. This sparks hysteria and conflict in the society that ends up costing people their lives. Many characters play a part in the outcomes in the story, however, some do so with more impact. Women in The Crucible are able to take power in their society as they find ways to influence and manipulate those in authority. Two women in the play that display this ability are Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams. The first example of an influential woman, is Elizabeth Proctor. She is wife to John Proctor and, though she may seem to wield little power in her relationship with him, she has great influence and power over his eventual fate. Many women in this novel are submissive and often hysterical but Elizabeth holds her ground and when accused and put on trial, is confident in her innocence. To the reader she comes off as level headed and just, even through the adultery committed by her husband

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