Good and Evil in the Crucible

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor Pages: 2 (489 words) Published: April 8, 2008
Good and Evil in The Crucible
In The Crucible, the author, Arthur Miller, demonstrates many examples of the complexity of “good” and “evil” in his characters. He does this through many characters, seen and unseen. Perhaps the most lucid representations of these two ideas are achieved through the acts of manipulation, anger, hate, and pureness that a few characters consistently provide.

It can be said that in this play evil takes a human form in Abigail Williams. Abigail serves as the spark of hate in the play. She tempts John Proctor into adultery and commits acts against the Puritan Religion. To escape her punishment when found in the unlawful act of dancing she deflects her actions and blames them on others. She has no regard for those whom may be hurt by her accusations of witchcraft on others. It even seems, at times, she takes pleasure in her deception. All those she accuses are innocent, yet she manipulates many into believing her actions are good. Another character that plays, perhaps, the largest role in the play is the Puritan religion itself. It may not have lines itself or have its own body, but the Puritan code was set up in a manner that allowed the greatest evil of all, the judgment and taking of human lives. The religion is served as a holy red herring for the unholy acts of judgment, punishment, and vindictive actions. Puritan religion consistently works against all good in the play.

Few acts are conceived as being any greater than martyrdom and honesty. John Proctor, although an adulterer and sinner like us all, serves as a martyr. After falsely admitting that he had compacted with Satan, by refusing to sign a confession or accuse anyone else of being with Satan. His refusal to lie any longer results in his hanging. Honesty is a theme brought about by very few in the play. However, Rebecca Nurse is an outstanding example of honesty and virtue. A well-respected member of the community and the church, Rebecca, is accused of...
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