At the end of the third act, John Proctor claims “God is dead!” – I’m going to explain why he says that and how the phrase relates with the events of that time. What I’m going to write is my very personal opinion. It does not necessarily has to be the same as yours.
In order to understand why Proctor says this with so much fury, it is needed to make a background. It was in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. They were puritans with a theocracy society, with strong, strict believes and rules, which shows the underdevelopment in religion in that period. Reverend Parris, a minister in Salem, seemed to be worried only about his own status than the town. John Proctor didn’t like him. He used to think he was a corrupted man. John, being the principal character of the play, evidently shows a dislike not just for Reverend Parris, but for the whole puritan way of living. This system censored and prevented people to act and think freely as individuals. They were always under the threat of “God’s willing” which really was the willing of those men who had the most power.
Proctor lived in the outskirts of the town. He was a laborious and courteous man. He was good in acting and thinking. But he hasn’t have peace from the moment he committed adultery with Abigail. His soul seems frustrated. And the fact that his wife, Elizabeth, after months the incident has happened, barely talks and accepts him, makes him feel even worse. He’s been absent from the town and the church… Maybe because of the land working, or the disliking of Reverend Parris preaching, or, in the most of the correct cases, to restore his soul peace. All this may have influenced Proctor’s daring phrase.
When a group of ladies, led by Abigail Williams, start accusing people of witchcraft, the entire town burst into craziness. Back in the day, witches were believed to exist. And it was an unconceivable sin to conjure with the devil or evil spirits. These girls led something, which was first just pure fun and...
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