Human Cruelty in the Name of Righteousness
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Guilt is a difficult feel to cope with. However, being blamed guilty while being innocent is even harder. This situation is experienced through the characters in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible
. In this play a group of girls attempt to practice witchcraft but because they got caught, the girls worried they were going to get punished. They begin to accuse other people and lie in order to deflect the blame from themselves. This initiated the Salem Witch Trials. Miller portrays human cruelty in the name of righteousness through Abigail and Thomas Putnam in
In The Crucible, Abigail (Reverend Parris’s niece) accuses Tituba and Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft in spite of upholding her innocence. Hysteria arises as Reverend Hale asks Abigail If she is involved with witchcraft. Abigail replies “I never sold myself! I am a good girl! I am a proper girl” and that Tituba forced her to do it. Tituba, in fear of punishment, accused other woman of witchcraft. Likewise, Elizabeth Proctor was also blamed for acts she did not commit. Reverend Hale says Abigail mentioned her name in the court. Elizabeth says “[she] will fear nothing”.(2.906.173) With Abigail’s accusation against Elizabeth in the trials not only did Abigail divert attention from her but has also caused chaos in the town because the Proctors were important people.
Giles Corey believes Thomas Putnam is making false accusations in order to take land, Giles accuses Thomas Putnam of
“coldly [prompting] [his] daughter to cry witchery upon George Jacobs.” (3.39596.182)
This meant that Thomas Putnam falsely accused George Jacobs to take advantage of the land. As a result of this accusation Giles Corey is arrested for
contempt of order. He said,
“ I cannot give you no name,sir. I cannot.” (3.419.183) He refused ...
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