The Crucible Essay:
Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” was first published in 1953 during the politically tumultuous time of McCarthyist America. By depicting how the Salem theocracy spiraled out of control in 1692, Miller draws a parallel between the mass hysteria present in the witch hunts of the period and the Red Scare during the Cold War. The play’s central character and tragic hero is John Proctor. Miller highlights how people speaking out against mass hysteria are like Proctor and are “…always marked for calumny therefore.”( p27). While Proctor’s immense pride is his major flaw, audiences align and view him as the ultimate voice of reason in the repressed Salem community. Initially, he is a man of dignity and integrity, however he is self-loathing and guilty because of his adulterous affair with his former servant, Abigail Williams. By the end of the play, despite losing his life and public integrity, Proctor is a changed man who has resolved his personal internal conflict. Paragraph 1:
T: Upon Proctor’s entrance onstage, he is characterized as a being “…powerful of body, even tempered, and not easily led…”(p27). Exp 1: Proctor is introduced to the audience as a respected figure in the community. E: Additionally, in Act One, Proctor is represented as an outspoken, forthright and independent man within the village. He openly despises Reverend Parris’ running of the Church and doesn’t “…like the smell of this ‘authority’.”(p35). A: Proctor’s strong belief in his freedom of speech also highlights his awareness of his esteemed role within the community. His social status and dominance are evident in the calm and confident way that he readily challenges Reverend Parris’ superficial beliefs and corrupt conduct. Exp 2: The playwright also foregrounds Proctor’s internal conflict as a result of his affair with Abigail. E2: Proctor is determined to purge himself of sin. Despite thinking “…softly of her from time to time.”(p29), Proctor makes it...
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