For example Governor Danforth and Ezekiel Cheever, the judges, didn 't want to believe that they were being fooled by a bunch of girls so they went along with witchcraft existing in the town of Salem. In the mean-time Reverend Parris was trying to regain his reputation that he lost and win the support from citizens of the town Salem through the court trials since he had many people against him. Many themes and ideas are shown through the play, The Crucible. As vengeance, fear and struggle for power combines, the village of Salem quickly turns into panic and chaos.
After Parris saw Abigail and the girls dancing in the forest, he realized his household could very well be “the very center of some obscene practice” and his initial thoughts regard the possible danger to his reputation if the people of Salem find out that his relatives are engaging in witchcraft (pg). He expressed to Abigail and Mary that their actions could ruin his longing fight “to bend.. stiff necked people to [him]” indicating that the girls can possibly ruin the good name he worked hard to achieve (11). Parris later continued to scold Abigail, disregarding his daughter Betty in her critical state, about potentially ruining his name, now that “good respect is rising for [him] in the parish” (11). In addition, during the trials, Parris was aware of the fact that the people being accused were actually innocent, but refuses to vouch for them because as the bible would be contradicted. Parris would rather watch people being wrongly accused than to damage his name, showing his care for himself and his name
The accused cannot be sent to the gallows without their crime being proven with sufficient and concrete evidence. The court rejects the petition that says Elizabeth Proctor is of good character, signed by the people attesting to it. It was instead viewed as an attack against the court. There are also multiple instances where the court relies upon the girls ' visions and prosecuted people because of it. The court has absolutely no right to decide a man 's fate upon falsified claims without a logical and sensible way of examining the allegations.
He believes strongly in his ability to judge the character of the informants. This comes into play when others question his judgement of Abigail and the girls from the woods. Danforth has a great deal of authority over the verdict of the accused, he has the power to judge them as not guilty. Danforth being the primary judge means he could have admitted to his foolishness and told the community that the accused people were not witches, and it would have made the townspeople believe that there was no witch problem in Salem at all. Danforth is too concerned with his reputation to admit that his judgement, at first, was clouded.
Danforth tries to turn the evidence that Giles gives against him. Parris tries to deny Mary Warren when he says "Your Excellency, this is a trick to blind the court!"(Miller 518). What he is trying to do is to turn Mary's confession to not seeing spirits against her. Parris doesn't want to look bad and tries to save himself. The people have no power to defend themselves to be innocent.
Another viewpoint, maybe that Judge Danforth was just trying to get the Salem witch trials to blow by quicker, but if this was true, he would´ve accepted John Proctor´s evidence showing that the girls were just playing tricks them. This would make the witch hysteria go away much quicker. Instead, he benefits himself by letting the Salem witch trials live longer. If Danforth was a good Judge he would not have acted so adamant and did his job as a judge to interpret the
Hysteria is defined as uncontrollable excitement, especially among a group of people. In the book there were a group of people (the Puritans ) who all were paranoid over something that isn’t even that large of a conflict. In the book accusations of neighbors, sisters, brothers, mothers, and even fathers being witches spread like a wildfire. “By March,
Some tried to stop while others continued to build up the hysteria. However, Abigail is the most responsible for the witch hysteria. Due to her selfishness and jealousy, she created this huge chaos and the people who did not want to get involved in this would get caught in the middle of it. Even after it was over, she did not show any remorse for it. Instead of admitting to the truth, she left the town because she knew how much trouble she would be in if she stayed.
At that time reputation was a very important thing to people. Those falsely accused would rather die than admit to participating in witchcraft for it would ruin their reputation. This idea becomes apparent by a quote john proctor says on the day he is to be hanged for being accused of
Nineteen people were hung due to false judgement by human nature and society. Taking place in a small village called Salem, inside of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, during a depressing seventeenth century, was a movement that would challenge the nation’s religious and psychological beliefs. Innocent people were being accused of witchcraft, when rather they were just ill or not taken care of properly by family and friends. Thought to be caused by stress, fear, and panic, the Salem Witch Trials was an event that changed the nation’s view on mental illness because of false assumptions and mischievous behavior. The Salem Witch Trials was a series of false accusations of witchcraft taking place in Salem, which during the seventeenth century, was apart of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Danforth explains his inability to free the accused people because, “twelve are already hanged for the same crime. It is not just,” (Miller 129). In saying this he admits that a person can only avoid a hanging by confessing to witchcraft even if their statement contains no truth. Combining this notion with the one he declared earlier displays the hypocritical nature of Danforth when put in this hysterical
This shows that the setting affects the tone because there was a high death rate of children in the 1600’s. The Putnam's children have all died except for the last child they had and she is shriveling away. And they believe that the reason they keep losing children is because someone in Salem is practicing Witchcraft and killing their kids. In act four of the crucible as everything is starting to wind down Danforth makes the statement “Hang them high over the town who weeps for these weep for corruption. ”(pg.1232)
“But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin, Mary.” (pg.115). During this time people of the town were easily persuaded to persecute their fellow neighbors, due to their religion and it’s principles. Thirty years before the infamous Salem Witch Trials there was a witch scare in Hartford,Connecticut, resulting in raised tensions about witches, making the hangings of 20 people more of a safety precaution rather than a righteous and fair trial.
Some may view the death as unuseful when they may live to rebut that they aren’t apart of witchcraft. Hale tries to convince Elizabeth to tell John to live, “... that throws his life away for pride” (4, 358). Although John signing would mean there is witchcraft so all the deaths would’ve been justified to the village. Parris confirms how valuable Proctor’s name is, “It is a weighty name; it will strike the village that Proctor confess” (4, 659). Proctor’s name can convince the village witchcraft is there, but only if he signs.