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Wily Witchcraft Essay

3159 words - 13 pages

The Crucible, penned by Arthur Miller, a four-act dramatic play based on events of the Salem witchcraft trials, takes place in a small Puritan village of Massachusetts in 1692. The witchcraft trials grew out of the particular moral system of the Puritans, which promoted a repressive code of conduct that frowned on any diversion from norms of behavior. The play opens with the reader finding out about a young girl who is inert in her bed. The villagers automatically suspect witchcraft. However, they do not know that all the girls in the village sneaked out to the woods the night before where they made a potion to let them have the man they love. The black slave who helped the girls make this potion was Tituba. It was fine until Abigail went too far and wished death on the wife of John Proctor. The girls went crazy, dancing and stripping but then Abigail's uncle walks in and finds them. This is the real reason the girl is unable to move, fear. The girls turn on the rest of the village and blame them for the witchcraft. John Proctor is the tragic hero as he has many positive traits about him, such as his noble characteristics and his honorable and righteous qualities. He also has a darker side to his otherwise pure nature by having an affair with Abigail Williams. Proctor’s actions lead to his eventual fatal downfall and the downfall of others as a result of his sin. The more shocking reality is that these events were factual, which just further fuels the tragedy of the play, especially towards John Proctor. The characterization of Proctor, and the key scenes in which his isolation is apparent, develop the audience’s attitude towards him from one of misgiving to admiration and recognition as a tragic hero. (
Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, New York. The early years of Miller’s life did not go smoothly. Miller did not excel in academics but he was very athletic by playing football and running track. Before attending college, Miller worked for his father’s business. Shortly later he labored in a Manhattan automobile warehouse and realized he wanted to do something with his life. After Miller decided what he wanted to do, he attended the University of Michigan in the Department of Drama. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and used his degree to be employed as a writer in the Federal Theater Project in 1938. However, people did not like reading Miller’s works as much as they liked seeing them on stage. Most of Miller’s plays won him awards and much fame however; there were a few works that were not great successes or a success at all. Miller also relates his problems to a story of lies through The Crucible. This play was considered to be one of Miller’s greatest works. It performed for seven months starting and eventually won Miller the Tony Award. The Crucible is repetitious but overall is well done. The thematic lack of community is consistent in Miller’s works. A great example of this is Miller’s play...

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