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An evaluation of the crucible a play by arthur miller

  • In both the witch trials and the committee hearings, people were summoned before an unchallengeable authority, interrogated, intimidated, and frequently coerced into the betrayal of others in order to escape being persecuted themselves;
  • It is almost that, by that point in time, she had gone so far that, whether she believed in her lie or was deliberately faking it the whole time, she knew it would be suicide to stop there;
  • The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you.

Miller portrayed that such illogical reasoning is dangerous or at the very least, counterproductive. Exploring the characters and motives of the two main women, Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor, a rough microcosm comes into view, paralleling the message of the story as a whole.

Clearly, what to John was a small detour off the path of righteousness was to Abigail the doorway to a new world. Abigail is confused, and her reasoning illogical, but that is no different from the logically impaired perspective of many in the town of Salem, even the most powerful and well educated.

Her motives were, in a morally secure world, wrong; yet they were so well-hidden that few saw through her guise of persecuted innocence. She was willing to let numerous innocent people be accused and die, and in many cases was the one sitting in the seat of the accuser. In that conversation, the young woman seemed completely convinced of the righteousness of her cause as well as enraptured by her fantasy that she would have John once his wife died: Perhaps Abigail was truly deluded, or perhaps very good at playing the part, even to John Proctor.

It is almost that, by that point in time, she had gone so far that, whether she believed in her lie or was deliberately faking it the whole time, she knew it would be suicide to stop there. Here again the reasoning of the men in power can be brought into question.

  1. The court, an extension of the governing theocracy, is meant to ensure stability and social order.
  2. Crops rot in the fields, cows bellow for want of milking, and abandoned children beg in the streets.
  3. Yet Proctor refuses to let the court keep his signed confession, for it is hard evidence of a lie.
  4. Perhaps she felt not so plain and acted not so suspicious, for true love transforms the heart in ways that cannot be explained but only experienced. Miller portrayed that such illogical reasoning is dangerous or at the very least, counterproductive.

Yet such an idea never arose and the men who held the lives in the sway of their judgment continued on their oblivious path toward false sentencing and ultimately, murder. The unnatural discourse between husband and wife seems an egg-skin cover stretched thinly over a wound. The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you.

I have sins of my own to count. It needs a cold wife to prompt lechery. Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should say my love.

The Crucible Critical Evaluation - Essay

Elizabeth always thought herself inferior, unlovable. One can only imagine the world of her younger years, possibly one child of many, forgotten and overlooked, very likely judged harshly for minor infractions. One pictures little joy in such a community and a one-sided approach to Christianity, which was more a form of Old Testament legalism without the promise of love and forgiveness.

Never once in the story were concepts such as abiding joy, life abundant, or forgiving love mentioned. It was all judgment and harsh rulings, the very element that Jesus called into question when he exposed the motives of the religious class of his time, the Pharisees.

Her perspective and existence was a product of that upbringing, though she was likely blind to it herself. Both women were beset by fear: In the end, Elizabeth discovered that she truly was loved. Perhaps it was too little and too late, but her husband loved her. Her husband was willing to give his life, perhaps not exactly or entirely for her, but in a way his act represented that unselfish love.

History reveals that Elizabeth Proctor, although accused, was not condemned. If Arthur Miller was accurate in his portrayal of her character, one can only hope that her life was transformed by the fact that she learned she was loved.

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Perhaps she felt not so plain and acted not so suspicious, for true love transforms the heart in ways that cannot be explained but only experienced. Abigail, on the other hand, escaped from the situation, running from her fear in the end. One can only assume that it followed her to the end of her days.

One is not surprised — considering the actions of these two women throughout the story — by the decisions they made in the end. There was no character arc for Abigail, but there was for Elizabeth, who came to understand love and forgiveness in a way she never had. Presumably, hopefully, it set her free to truly live.