The Crucible Essay Themes

Free Essays on The Crucible: Theme Development

  • Length: 712 words (2 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
Theme Development in The Crucible 


 The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a historical play,
but more importantly a social and psychological drama.
The various ways the themes are developed through The
Crucible are through characters, plot, setting and
dialogue.

The importance of the witch-trials is, according to
Raymond Williams, that in them 'the moral crisis of a
society is explicit, is directly enacted and stated,
in such a way that the quality of the whole way of
life is organically present and evident in the
qualities of persons' (Drama from Ibsen to Brecht,
1968). For Williams this is a dramatic device that
enables the playwright to explore the evil forces in
Salem society let loose by the revelation of
witchcraft.

Rebecca nurse warns that 'there is prodigious danger
in the seeking of loose spirits. I fear it. I fear it.
Let us rather blame ourselves!' But her warning is not
heeded and a pandora's box is opened. We see the greed
of Thomas Putnam; the quest for revenge on those who
have wronged them, carried out by Martha Corey and
Abigail Williams; Ann Putnam's jealousy of the fertile
Rebecca Nurse and Abigail's jealousy of Elizabeth
Proctor; the ambition of Hale and Parris, both of whom
seek public approval; the fear of punishment that
initially motivates Abigail and the other girls; then
the revelling in power they display during the trial.
Above all The Crucible investigates the mass hysteria
which infects the whole community.

The notion of evil is central to The Crucible. To
understand the play without thinking about what Miller
is trying to say on the subject is not possible. It is
obvious that we are looking at wickedness as it is
after all, the story of a witch-trial, and involves a
good deal of both physical and spiritual cruelty. What
is not so obvious is that the playwright is setting up
two different models of evil. He shows us what people
take it to be, and then demonstrates that they have
got it largely wrong. They are looking in the wrong
place, chasing the wrong symptoms, prosecuting the
supposedly wicked and leaving the genuinely bad
untouched.

The false model of evil is something defined by a set
of external rules- not going to church regularly, not
knowing the commandments, cursing and living out of
wedlock. These were the tests that were given to the
accused in the witch-trials and were proven guilty.
The model of good, which is still false, is that
obeying these same rules equates to good. By this
false model, Parris, the Putnams and the girls are all
pure. We stereotype, and ignore individual variations.
We confuse the external show with the internal truth,
and we get into the sort of nightmarish charade which

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays on The Crucible: Theme Development." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=5213>.

LengthColor Rating 
Character Development in Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay - Character Development in Arthur Miller's The Crucible The Crucible deals with significant events in Salem and significant changes and developments in the characters that appear in the play. Every character in the play undergoes some kind of change whether it is for good or for evil. Arthur Miller considers good and evil in The Crucible he shows that all the characters think they are doing "God's work" but are in fact encouraging the devil. Also many characters are hypocritical, they are "good honest Christians" but many can't even follow the Ten Commandments....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]754 words
(2.2 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
The Theme of Justice in The Crucible Essay - The Theme of Justice in The Crucible The crucible was set in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. The play is based on true facts about events that actually took place. It is about a small secluded town that relies strongly on their religion to keep them feeling safe. Their enemy is the devil and they are always scared of the devil and constantly looking for signs that the devil is there. “We cannot leap to witchcraft. They will howl me out of Salem for such corruption in my house.” The fear of the devil gets so strong the town’s justice system take strong actions to keep everyone safe....   [tags: The Crucible Arthur Miller Witchcraft Essays]3123 words
(8.9 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
The Theme of Evilness in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay - The Theme of Evilness in The Crucible by Arthur Miller In any type of society there is evil. Evil lives amongst us all, sometimes in the people you would least suspect. Everybody in 'The Crucible' has sinned in some way, except for Rebecca Nurse. The play almost certainly starts off with an element of evil. The people of Salem are puritans, so if it were known that a group of girls were dancing naked and attempting to conjure up any spells in a forest, it would certainly be thought of as evil....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]1370 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Miller's Presentation of the Theme Of Greed And Envy within The Crucible - Miller's Presentation of the Theme Of Greed And Envy within The Crucible 'The Crucible' was written in 1953 by Arthur Miller in the time of the cold war, although the play was set in 1692. The play is about a town called Salem in America and about the witch-hunts that took place there. Because it was written in this time period there is a feeling of mistrust, greed and envy echoed in the play. Arthur Miller plays on these feelings and produces a theme of greed and envy that is critical to the whole play....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]1074 words
(3.1 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Free Essays on The Crucible by Arthur Miller - The Crucible, a historical play by Arthur Miller, is based on events of the Salem Witchcraft trials. The play takes place in a small Puritan village in Massachusetts in 1692. It begins with Abigail Williams leading a group of girls to the forest with Tituba, a slave woman from Barbados believed to have special powers. After being caught by Reverend Parris, his daughter Betty enters into a coma-like state. In order to protect themselves and the girls, Abigail initiates an accountability session and names all of the innocent people in town....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible 2014]790 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Free Essays on The Crucible: Forgiveness - The Crucible – Forgiveness The Healing Power Of Forgiveness - The Gift of Reconciliation "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ---Mahatma Gandhi Forgiveness is a process of inner healing. For most of the people in The Crucible, they did not need to necessarily forgive others; but forgive themselves. The Crucible is a story of mass hysteria in a period of time in which men dominated women. However, Arthur Miller portrays Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Procter as two women with drastic roles to play....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]820 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Arthur Miller's Skill in Revealing Character, Plot and Theme in The Crucible - Arthur Miller's Skill in Revealing Character, Plot and Theme in The Crucible A crucible is a container in which metal and other materials are heated so as to separate the pure metals from waste and impurities. The crucible in the title is a metaphor for the town of Salem and the period of witch-hunt madness. In the 'fire', some victims survive the temptations and fears and emerge as better and stronger people. Also two other books have been based on the seventeenth-century witch-hunts: The Lancashire Witches and the Mist over Pendle In the 17th Century, God was perceived as male and men were seen as the natural enforcers of God's will....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]942 words
(2.7 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Theme of Change in The Crucible, Sky High, Titanic, and The Colour Purple - The global social systems throughout history and today are a constant movement of change seen in emotional, mental and physical patterns. Changes alter perception and perception can manipulate things to change. “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, “Sky High” by Hannah Roberts, “Titanic” directed by James Cameron and “The Colour Purple” by Alice Walker, convey the concept of change in an inevitable occurrence or voluntary decisions throughout all aspects of life. Throughout the four texts, various techniques are used to portray these messages, for instance, anecdote, juxtaposition, music, and film techniques....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]1185 words
(3.4 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Free Essays on The Crucible: Characters and Changes - The Crucible – Characters and Changes Change is good." We hear the catchy phrase everywhere. From company slogans to motivational speeches, our world seems to impose this idea that change is always a good thing. Assuming that the change is for the better, it is probably a true statement in most cases. The root of this idea seems to come from the notion that we are dissatisfied with the state that we are in, so, in order to create a more enjoyable surrounding, we adjust. Others, however, stray from this practice, and instead of trying to adapt to the people around them, they try and change others....   [tags: Crucible Essays]1313 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
The Crucible Film Essay - The Crucible Film The Crucible; an intensely emotional and dramatic film based on the horrific story of the Salem witch trials. The opening and concluding sequences are of great importance in conjuring the melancholy atmosphere present throughout the story. The director uses various different devices to achieve this. A variety of camera techniques are used throughout the beginning sequence to enhance the mood and involve the audience. Camera techniques are harmonized with lighting effects to culminate this dramatic scene....   [tags: Movie Revier Miller Crucible]1253 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

Related Searches

Crucible         Rebecca Nurse         Psychological Drama         Various Ways         Dramatic Device         Development         Mass Hysteria         Parris         Pandora         Approval        




The Crucible depicts, one repeated throughout history.
For example, in Nazi Germany, the rules said that all
Jews were evil and Aryans good.

Miller's compassionate humanism does not give him a
soft-edged view of evil. On the contrary, he has
asserted that the real judges of the salem trial were
undeniably bad and he is glad they come across that
way.

Miller seems to say, don't look for rules or
categories or groups of people in the search for moral
understanding. A preacher may be bad. Going to church
may not assure goodness. Indeed there is great danger
in overconfident moral certitude. Instead, look to the
inner qualities of each individual, and especially pay
attention to people's dealings with one another. Those
who exploit and harm their fellows, for whatever
cause, and in the name of no matter what glorious
ideal, are to be mistrusted. Those who help their
fellows, regardless of who they are and what
principles may be involved, are more humane and
worthy. The latter point is the obvious way to go.

The Crucible's main theme 'evil' can be developed
through characters such as Rebecca Nurse who warns us
of the danger of seeking of spirits and Abigail
Williams who is evil, commits lechery with John
Proctor, her jealousy of Elizabeth Proctor and accuses
innocent people of being witches. The dialogue that is
spoken between the characters shows an evil trait, and
some characters speak of evil such as Rebecca Nurse.
All these, and others help to develop the theme.     



Themes of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

  • Length: 508 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
Arthur Miller's The Crucible

A group of teenage girls were secretly dancing in the woods with a black slave, named Tituba. When they were discovered of what they were doing, the girls started accusing certain individuals in the village of dealing with witchcraft. Within a blink of an eye, the entire village is controlled by a devil that exists within the fear of each person. A drama of suspense and impact, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, explores through the individuals' vengeance, fear, reputation, and quest for power.

Vengeance is the main theme of The Crucible. The people of the town of Salem were not united, but instead, distrusted and disliked each other. During the court trials, the girls started accusing certain people that they didn't like of dealing with witchcraft. For example, Abigail Williams couldn't forget John Proctor even though their affair was over. She believed that if his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, was out of the way, Abigail and John would be together again. Therefore, she told everyone that Elizabeth's spirit was trying to kill her and accused Elizabeth of being a witch.

Fear also played an important role in The Crucible. The girls were afraid of being accused as witches themselves, so they started accusing other people in the town of being witches. Moreover, many people who were accused of being witches confessed to being witches because they were scared of death. People who confessed to witchcraft and dealing with the devil only stayed in the jail for a short time while others who refused to give in were hanged. Towards the end of the play, Abigail and Mercy ran away with huge amounts of money because they were afraid that if the authorities found out that they were lying they would be punished severely.

The theme of reputation and quest for people is also portrayed clearly in The Crucible. In the old days, children were considered unimportant. They weren't allowed to speak until given permission to, and they didn't make important decisions at all. However, during the witch court trials, Abigail and other girls had the power to say who was innocent and who was guilty. Probably, for the first time in their lives, they had power over Salem and they wanted to maintain it. Moreover, the authorities of Salem were afraid of losing authorities and power. For example, the judges, Governor Danforth and Ezekiel Cheever didn't want to admit that they were being fooled by a bunch of girls so they insisted that witchcraft existed in the town of Salem.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Themes of Arthur Miller's The Crucible." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=152055>.

LengthColor Rating 
Themes of Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay - Arthur Miller's The Crucible A group of teenage girls were secretly dancing in the woods with a black slave, named Tituba. When they were discovered of what they were doing, the girls started accusing certain individuals in the village of dealing with witchcraft. Within a blink of an eye, the entire village is controlled by a devil that exists within the fear of each person. A drama of suspense and impact, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, explores through the individuals' vengeance, fear, reputation, and quest for power....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]508 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Themes of Power and Authority in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay - Explore Miller’s dramatic presentation and development of the theme of power and authority. Even though The Crucible is not historically correct, nor is it a perfect allegory for anti-Communism, or as a faithful account of the Salem trials, it still stands out as a powerful and timeless depiction of how intolerance, hysteria, power and authority is able to tear a community apart. The most important of these is the nature of power, authority and its costly, and overwhelming results. “But you must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or against it,” says Danforth conceitedly....   [tags: religious, hysteria, accusations]
:: 1 Works Cited
2327 words
(6.6 pages)
Research Papers[preview]
Essay about The Universal Themes Found in The Crucible by Arthur Miller - A crucible has two definitions, one being a vessel in which metal is heated to a high temperature and melted for the purposes of casting, having been purified. An Alternative sense of the word may be as the focus of a baptism by fire, by which a metamorphosis in political, social, and cultural relations takes place, driven by agents of change. When a community presents a toxic environment which is seen to be flawed in major aspects of effective functionality, good may only triumph when certain individuals rise up against such a destructive system and refuse conformity in a dire attempt to reform the society for the better, despite the often tragic personal consequences....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible 2014]1098 words
(3.1 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
The Dramatic Presentation of Truth, Justice and Morality in The Crucible - The Dramatic Presentation of Truth, Justice and Morality in The Crucible "The Crucible" is essentially a story about witchcraft, but the one key theme which occurs throughout the play and plays a fundamental part in it, is justice. A large proportion of the play is actually set in court, the "house of justice", which is a very symbolic way of showing its importance. Normally in every day life, the judge of the court is the person who brings out the justice in the cases brought forwards, but in "The Crucible" it is not always clear if this is the case; sometimes it even seems to be the other way round....   [tags: Papers Arthur Miller Themes The Crucible]1968 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Themes of Pride and Integrity in The Crucible Essays - The Crucible was not widely accepted when it was originally released. The literature was Arthur Miller's response to McCarthyism and the Red Scare. During the play Abigail Williams accuses most of Salem of being a witch. This leads to mass hysteria within the town. Which in turn leads to Reverend Parris bringing Reverend John Hale to Salem. Hale is there to sort out and get rid of any presence of the Devil. There is a multitude of themes in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. These range any where from guilt and revenge to authority and integrity....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]675 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" Essay - Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written in 1952 by the twentieth century American playwright Arthur Miller (1915-.) Miller was born in New York and educated at the University of Michigan where he began to write plays. Most of Miller's plays are set in contemporary America and on the whole offer a realistic portrayal of life and society and the theme of self-realization is re-current e.g. John Proctor in 'The Crucible'. 'The Crucible' was the third play Miller wrote. It is a play about the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts....   [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]3343 words
(9.6 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Essay about Arthur Miller's The Crucible - Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was brought before a committee in 1956 to answer charges of 'communist sympathy' and to name the people he had had meetings with up to twenty years before. Liberal writer, film directors, actors and actresses were all called before the committee. The committee often had lists of names of people who had attended meetings yet they still forced witnesses to recite names, to see if they would comply and give the right names....   [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]942 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay on Maintaining Audience's Interest in The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Maintaining Audience's Interest in The Crucible by Arthur Miller There are many ways in which Arthur Miller Captures and maintains the audience's interest in his 20th Century play, The Crucible. Right from the start of the play Arthur Miller uses Dramatic devices such as curiosity to capture the audience's interest. He maintains the audience's interest right throughout the text by using themes, which are still relevant today. He also uses the storyline to maintain the audience's interest. Arthur Miller uses the language in a very attention-grabbing way, as I have found that his description/portrayal of characters and when he directly addresses the audience also helps to maintain the audien...   [tags: Arthur Miller Crucible Essays]2604 words
(7.4 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Themes in The Crucible Essay - Themes in The Crucible In the crucible Arthur Miller takes the chilling story of the Salem witch hunt in 1692 and combines it with the issues of McCarthyism in the 1950s. The play reflects Miller’s ideas and opinions about McCarthyism and what he thinks are the similarities to the Salem witch hunts. Proctor is the main character Millers uses to reflect the unfairness of the Salem and McCarthy trials and how the truth died in the 1950s. This makes Proctor’s role very dramatic and exciting. Miller also uses a dramatic licence to make this even more so – adding the love to Elizabeth and guilt about Abigail gives the story an intriguing twist....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]1284 words
(3.7 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Hysteria, Reputation, and Hypocrisy in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay - Parris: "Aye, a dress. And I thought I saw – someone naked running through the trees.” The play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller had very many themes in it. Some of these themes stood out more then others. These themes would be hysteria, reputation, and hypocrisy. These themes were present throughout the entire play, from the beginning till the end. When you think of a Puritan religion you may think of a very good, morally perfect society. This wasn’t the case in Salem, Massachusetts. It was actually the opposite in the play, there was lying, cheating, stealing and just about everything else you wouldn’t want in your society....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]1014 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]



Reverend Parris was also trying to regain his reputation and win support from the citizens of Salem through the court trials, since he had many enemies.

Many ideas and themes are presented through the play, The Crucible. As vengeance, fear and struggle for power combines, the village of Salem quickly turns into chaos and panic. Innocent people are killed, children and property aren't taken care of since people are required to attend court trials. The impact and suspense of the plotline makes it interesting and enjoyable.



0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *