The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1418 Words6 Pages
With the absurd amount of corruption and chaos that was present in Salem during the 1690’s, it’s hard to put the blame for the witch trials on any one person. In Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible, the reader is given a dramatized insight on the events surrounding the dark times that had befallen the province of Massachusetts Bay. The play begins by presenting that aftermath of a ‘ritual’ that had taken place in the woods in which Betty, the daughter of Reverend Parris is seemingly in a coma that everyone believes was brought forth by witchery. When the blame for Betty’s condition is turned towards Tituba (Parris’ slave), Abigail, Mary Warren, and the other girls who were seen by Reverend Parris dancing in the woods, Abigail claims to have only…show more content…
The one who oversees the judgments of the witch trials is Deputy Governor Danforth. From the beginning of Act III, where Danforth is first introduced, it is easily seen from his actions and the expression of his personality that Danforth is most guilty, and therefore most culpable for the debacle in Salem. While overlooking the witch trials, Danforth makes no attempt to hide his true opinions on the cases from the girls or those being accused of witchcraft. After arresting and interrogating a good portion of the townspeople, most of them were sentenced to hang due to their low social statuses, long-standing land disputes, envy, and other petty things between the people in the town instead of their actual affiliation with the devil. Danforth, one of the most influential voices in the determining of the people’s lives, appears to be one of the most biased and selfish people as well. When Francis nurse speaks before the court and states that “the girls … are frauds” and that he “[has] proof of it” (80), it would be expected of a judge to let the witness present their evidence to the court and have their word be factored into the outcome of the trial, but instead, Danforth proceeds to ask Francis nurse if he “[knew of him]” and talk of the “near to four hundred in the jails from Marblehead to Lynn … and the seventy-two condemned to hang … upon [his] signature” (81).
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