The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1639 Words Apr 2nd, 2016 7 Pages
The Importance of Intentions
By the standards of virtually any society, lying is an act that is almost certain to result in some form of contempt, hatred, or even ostracism. However, not all liars are regarded in the same way- there is an obvious difference of morality between a fraudulent politician and one lying to protect his own life. In his play The Crucible, Arthur Miller demonstrates the moral and societal differences between and consequences of different types of lies: A liar’s virtue is determined primarily by intention, and while some forms of dishonesty are more acceptable than others, truth under all circumstances is vital to true morality. Miller’s stance is a rational and realistic one and can be seen not only in his play, but also in media and politics.
The time period in which The Crucible is set, during the time of the infamous Salem witch trials, provided many opportunities in which people felt compelled to lie. The characters have two main reasons behind lying: for personal gain or for self-preservation. It is the person who lies with selfish intent that we see as the most sinful and deserving of punishment. Abigail Williams, the manipulative antagonist of the play, lies countless times throughout the play, employing her high status as the supposedly innocent young girl to protect the very same. Her dishonesty begins with her affair with the married John Proctor, the huge shame of it only heightened by Puritan intolerance and a significant age difference;…

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