Themes of "The Crucible"

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft Pages: 2 (751 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Themes of The Crucible
While reading The Crucible, two strong themes are guilt and hypocrisy. This play by Authur Miller takes place in during the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. The people involved were called Puritans. they had very strong beliefs such as "predestination", and intolerance. When the trials began to come about, it caused great havoc in the small, puritan community. Although this play seemed to be such a serious series of events, after reading it one will soon notice that it is almost crossing a fine line of mockery. The themes that showed these traits pretty well were guilt and hypocrisy, which when looked at deeper bring out the extent of insanity throughout the play. These themes will begin to show how obvious and absurd the true motives actually are.

The first theme, which is guilt, is initially shown very subtly but then towards the end of the play, gets to an extreme. Mr. Hale is the first character we really notice effected by this. During act three, he begins to feel personally responsible for the people he condemned to hang, as they begin to look innocent. He exclaims, "I have signed 72 death warrants, I am a minister of the lord…" (Miller, 1301). For the first time in the play, one of the characters actually says something to show their doubt, when everyone else is just constantly thinking and wondering if it could be true or not. Another character that show his guilt in this act is Danforth. He is the judge who have tried all of the suspects, and sentenced the majority of them to death. After two of the girls that were the basis for everyone's conviction skip town, Danforth begins to show his skepticism, but can not react. he understands clearly not that there is a strong possibility that the girls were lying, but still refuses to change his decision. After sentencing possibly innocent people to hang, his guilt can not empower him to do things to attempt to justify his previous actions. When Reverend Parris tries to postpone...
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