The Crucible Essay Themes

Free Essays on The Crucible: Theme Development

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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

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

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

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

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"Free Essays on The Crucible: Theme Development." 10 Mar 2018

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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

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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." 10 Mar 2018

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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.


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