The Witchcraft Hysteria In "The Crucible" By Arthur Miller

716 words - 3 pages

The Witchcraft Hysteria^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^In 1692, in Salem Massachusetts, the superstition of witches existedin a society of strong Christian beliefs. Anybody who acted out of theordinary was accused of being a witch and then the accuse would actually beforgiven if the blamed their accusations on another individual. This was themain idea of a play entitled, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. In this play agroup of young girls act up and are then accused of being witches. Thesegirls then blame other people in order to get out of trouble and even pretendto be 'bewitched' in front of the court during a trial. This leads into thedeaths of some innocent people who were accused and automatically found guilty.I believe, in many ways the people of Salem were responsible for the witchhysteria.The person with the most influence was the character, Abigail.Abigail had an affair with a man by the name of John Proctor. Proctor brokecontact with Abigail and spent time and interest in his wife, Elizabeth.Abigail gets jealous because of this and Abigail, a few other girls, and aservant from the Caribbean named Tituba dance around in a order that theybelieve it will kill Proctor's wife. Rev. Parris, Abigail's uncle, sees thisand reports it. When Abigail is questioned about this, she denies everythingand doesn't tell the truth about what really happened. The news of her andthe other girl's strange actions gets around and the hysteria starts.Without Abigail's superstition, and her fear or telling the truth, I thinkthe events in The Crucible wouldn't have gotten as serious as they did oreven started.John Proctor was another catalyst to the witch hysteria in Salem.John Proctor has an affair with Abigail, but he and his wife do make up andget along well. John Proctor adds to the hysteria when he and his wife aretalking about Abigail and why she is acting so oddly. Although John Proctorknows she is making up everything and blaming innocent people, he isreluctant to travel to Salem and testify her as a fraud to the court. If hewould have done this the witch trials could have stopped there....

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