The Crucible Tone Paper
In Arthur Miller’s book/play The Crucible, the tone he adopts towards the subject of witch trials and witch hunts, and towards the characters that maintain them, is carefully written. His ironic and cynical tones throughout the play poke fun at the religious officials doing what they thought was right, executing people they thought were witches. They also further the outlook on the lack of justice in a harsh, Puritan society.
Miller continually uses irony in situations that led up to final accusations of witchcraft. In the events leading up to Elizabeth’s conviction, she receives a poppet from Mary Warren with a needle in its stomach. When he found this, Cheever exclaims “I never warranted to see such proof of Hell…” This is ironic in the way that he was involved in the trials of convicting witches, and witches are proof of the Devil, and therefore, proof of Hell. Another example of irony is in Act II when John Proctor hands Danforth a testament that people had signed declaring Rebecca Nurse, Martha Corey, and Elizabeth, good women. Proctor said “…sir—they’ve known the women many years and never saw no sign they had dealings with the devil.” This testament was supposed to help the women get out of jail. It ultimately failed.
A great example of irony is when Elizabeth Proctor lies about the affair that she knows that Abigail and John Proctor have. Judge Danforth asks her “Is your husband a lecher?” Elizabeth answers “No, sir.” This shows that Elizabeth did not want to confess about the affair. She was confused of what to say at times because she kept turning to John for what to say. I believe that this example is ironic mainly because it was said earlier in the book that Elizabeth had never told a lie, until now when she does lie about her John’s affair with Abigail. What is also ironic is the reason that this event happened. The judges needed somebody to tell them something about Proctor that they did not know while Proctor was on...
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