Arthur Miller, The Crucible: Uncover The Effects Of Guilt On The Characters

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In Arthur Millers play, The Crucible, you can easily uncover the effects of three main characters guilt. You can clearly see as the story unfolds that John Proctor, Elizabeth Procter and John Hale all are very much affected by their overwhelming guilt. Each has different causes for their guilty consciences and certainly different outcomes. Throughout this analysis I will discuss those three characters and go in depth on how their guilt drove them to their deaths and unfulfilled futures. John Proctors guilt is most clearly displayed when Hale asks him to recite the commandments and he leaves out adultery. There is no doubt that Proctor lives with his overwhelming guilty conscience, for cheating on Elizabeth, every day. It is especially hard since it always seems to be the elephant in the room. You can see the effects of Proctors guilt throughout the story from his being forgetful of the commandments, to admitting to the adultery in court, and being sentenced to jail. He believes he is damaged in the eyes of God, another effect of his guilt, which is displayed when he’s leaving the courtroom and says “God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together!” I believe his guilt was a strong deciding factor in his refusal of a confession, to being involved with the Devil, that lead him to be sentenced to death. Elizabeth Proctors guilt carries with her until the end of the play. She believes she is the reason John committed adultery. She feels her busyness and indissoluble focus on the children drove John into Abigail’s welcoming arms. This guilt is what prompts Elizabeth to lie for John when asked about his adultery. She feels as though he should not be punished for a sin she is guilty of driving him to commit. She sits in jail with this guilt and lets it build until she finally opens up to John about it in Act 4 before he is to be hung. Elizabeth somewhat cleared herself of her guilty conscience by finally forgiving John for his...
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