Hysteria tears apart the community.
Hysteria replaces common sense and allows the people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered respectable people, are committing illogical and unbelievable crimes-- communicating with the devil, killing babies, and more.
In "The Crucible", the townsfolk accept and become active in the hysterical atmosphere not only out of true religious devoutness (God doesn't allow interacting with the devil) but also because it gives them a chance to express kept feelings and to act on long-held grudges, claim other's land, and settle old scores.
The most obvious case is Abigail, who accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to jail.
Reverend Parris …show more content…
1. "There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships." Act II (page 71)
Reverend Hale to Francis Nurse defending the witch trials in the face of the outrageous arrest of Rebecca Nurse. The court has taken the witch trials a little too far and accusing extremely innocent people and he is telling him that the people that they were once so able to trust, are completely against them.
2. "Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up." Act IV (page 132)
Reverend Hale to Elizabeth Proctor. Trying to convince her to force her husband into confessing. He realizes that he has made mistakes by following the madness in the community and is trying to save lives in the only way