Fear Tactics In The Crucible Essay

805 words - 3 pages

Throughout The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, fear is used as a control tactic. Fear escalates quickly through the responsible parties – Abigail Williams, Reverend John Hale, and Deputy Governor Danforth – and soon the town succumbs to it. Fear is not used by all of the responsible parties for control, as in controlling the people in order to be the “top dog” so to speak, but as a way to prevent their own accusation or conviction of witchcraft. They each used their own methods of creating fear in order to beat the stakes.
Abigail Williams is accused of witchcraft early on. In order to avoid conviction she confesses to witchcraft, accuses Tituba of forcing her to drink blood and do witchcraft, and accuses Elizabeth Proctor, Sarah Good, Goody Osburn, Bridget Bishop, Goody Sibber, Goody Hawkins, Goody Booth, and countless other innocent people in court. She throws herself down in the court and does other dramatic actions in order to convince the court that a person is in fact a witch. This leads to people being falsely accused of witchcraft and forced to accuse others in order to live. Because of Abigail's growing power in the court, people become fearful of her. One of the most important people who begins to fear her is Elizabeth Proctor. Elizabeth is afraid that Abigail will accuse her of witchcraft. She also gives more insight into Abigail's behavior in court. She states that Abigail will “scream and howl and fall to the floor” when the accused are brought forth (50). The people and the court begin to believe that Abigail can see who the witches are. Her words and actions become the deciding factors in a defendants fate.
Reverend Hale is believed to be a witch hunter of sorts. He believes himself to be a specialist and other believe so too. He once encountered a witch in his own parish not long ago. The women had turned out to be just another pest, and not actually a witch. He has never once found a real witch. His motives are not like the other responsible parties. He spreads fear unknowingly. The only goal he has is “goodness and its preservation” (34). However, despite his good intentions, he does spread fear. He writes of normal things, such as Giles Corey's wife's books, as witchcraft. He has the power to accuse anyone he thinks is...

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