The Crucible


Reverend Samuel Parris

One of the key villains in the story, he is perhaps the only character in the play with no redeeming qualities. In his description of Parris, Miller comes right out and declares, “there is very little good to be said for him.” Parris is both self-righteous and selfish: As the play opens, his chief concern is how he is going to “bend these stiff-necked people” (referring to the townspeople). He at first resists the talk of witchcraft, feeling that it will reflect badly on him, but then embraces the witch-hunt wholeheartedly when he perceives it as an opportunity to bolster his own position. A glimpse of Parris’s humanity emerges in the play’s final act when he appears broken and guilty over all of the suffering the witch trials have brought.

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Essays About The Crucible