The Crucibles; Irony

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?Irony is used extensively in The Crucible. Discuss three examples of irony in the play and the significance of each example.

In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, irony is used a number of times throughout the play. The main example of irony would probably be how the town seems and acts to be like a group of friends and a tight-knit community, but by the end of the play, the town has turned against each other and it turns into a question of morality how everything flips upside-down. The society that this town has thrived and lived in, turn’s bad, when lies are thrown around and the wrong people realize how easy power can be achieved. The entire play is full of verbal and dramatic irony because in retrospect, every ounce of the trials, are indeed ironic.

A great example of irony is when Elizabeth Proctor lies about the affair that she knows that Abigail and John Proctor have. She states this when Danforth asks, “Is your husband a lecher [?]” and Elizabeth answers, “No, sir” (Miller 874, Act 3). This shows that Elizabeth did not want to confess about the affair. She was also unsure of what to say at certain times because she kept turning towards Proctor for answers or clues on what she should say. I believe that this example is ironic mainly because Elizabeth had never told a lie, until now when she does lie about her husband’s affair with Abigail Williams. What is also ironic about this event is the reason that it happened. When John Proctor was in trial, the judges needed somebody to tell them something about Proctor that they did not know. When Judge Danforth tells Parris to go get Elizabeth Proctor, he asks John Proctor if whether she is of trust. Proctor responds that she had never told a lie in her life, that she did not have the capability to lie (Miller 873, Act 3). I believe that this is ironic because he said that Elizabeth could not tell a lie, and to his surprise, she told a lie for him.

Amidst the drama of the court scene in Act III,...
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