In The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, the characters have an innumerable amount of concerns for their own reputation. This is an immense theme represented throughout the entire play. The characters are too drawn into the sake of keeping the good of their name. In The Crucible, characters such as Reverend Parris, Abigail Williams, and Mary Warren are highly drawn to their reputations. This affects the way they act because it brings their actions into play. Their situations are similar because they all attempt to defend the sake of their name. The differences are the reasonings behind it. In the Puritan society, a good name is more important to them than the truth because their being becomes frowned upon by the community around …show more content…
He trembles at the thought of his ministry being taken away. Reverend Parris is angered by Abigail and Betty’s acts because it will destroy his good name and people will lose their respect for him. Another example of a character distressed by their reputation is Abigail Williams. Abigail’s life is defined by her reputation in the town, so she does not want to ruin her image. When Reverend Parris questions Abigail saying, “then you were conjuring spirits last night?” (Miller 4). Abigail becomes petrified and puts the blame on Tituba and Ruth so she would not be the one punished. In the same scene, Betty suddenly springs off the bed and says “you drank blood, Abby, you drank blood!” (Miller 4). Instantly, Abby forces her back into the bed and tells her to be quiet because she fears the townspeople will begin to talk of her doings. Another illustration would be when Mary Warren confesses to the court that the girls were lying of their accusations in the town, Abby denies it and says “I have naught to change, sir she lies” (Miller 40). Abigail knows Mary is telling the truth, but contradicts her statement to still have an acceptable standard. She then initiates her stunt and presumes to the governor, “I have been hurt, Mister Danforth; I have seen my blood runnin’ out!” (Miller 43). She continues her act and trembles, “I.. I know not. A wind, a cold wind has come” (Miller 43). Abigail pretends to have a sudden shiver
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John Proctor and Reverend Parris are both prominent men in Salem; however, Proctor does not care how he is seen by the town whereas Parris is willing to do almost anything to protect his reputation. Parris divulges his true feelings when talking to Abigail about his reputation, as he calls the Salem’s citizens “stiff-necked people” who, “just when some good respect is rising” for him within the parish, have called into questioned his “very character” due to Abigail’s accusations (11). In contrast to Parris’ concern about how he will be perceived, Proctor willingly admits he had an affair with Abigail, begging the men in the court to “see [Abigail for] what she is” (110). Parris attempts to coerce Abigail into compliance in order to save his name while Proctor accuses Abigail of lechery in order to save his wife. While Parris’ self-consciousness turned him into a selfish man, Proctors’ self-confidence taught him selflessness. Much like her uncle Parris, Abigail is willing to protect her reputation at all costs. When she believes Goody Proctor is ruining her name, Abigail declares “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled!” (12). Abigail is terrified at the thought the Salem community could believe her character was tainted. Out of concern for her reputation, she angrily blames others for seeking to spread rumors and lies about her. In contradiction, Elizabeth tells John that whatever he does “it is a good man does it” (137). Despite John’s confession to lechery and societal pressures put on her to shun him, she still believes John is a good person. Abigail’s fear of the public’s reaction has turned her into a vengeful and jealous young woman while Elizabeth’s apathetic attitude toward public opinion has allowed her to become loving and forgiving. This
In the play Abigail destroys and ruins reputations simply by naming names. “Abigail originally acts out of self-protection, as so many others in the community will do later”(Schlueter/Flanagan
Abigail was, of course, the ring leader of the witch craft accusations in Salem. These false accusations were not without cause, however; Abigail made these accusations to try and protect her own reputation. Initially, Abigail is mainly conflicted about her name currently being darkened through the town. She angrily accuses Elizabeth Proctor of spreading lies about her in defense. However, Abigail is seen as a whore, and John Proctor causes the ultimate disrespect to her when he says, “You are pulling down Heaven and raising up a whore.” (Act II) Abigail’s yearn to retain a good name caused the deaths and punishment of many
The witch trials in this play were based on actual events that happened in Salem in 1692. Arthur Miller’s 1953 The Crucible is a dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials. His reasoning for writing it was because everyone was hysteric about the Soviet Union and communism trying to make its way over to the United States. It was like a modern day witch hunt. In the play, Abigail Williams and a group of girls get caught in the woods. They were dancing and doing other things that puritan’s looked down upon. The girls were caught by Reverend Parris, and soon after his daughter became ‘ill’. The girls then started saying that witches came to them and told them to do bad things. They sent innocent people to hang. After studying Arthur Miller’s
Socrates once said, “Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of -- for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again”.In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Miller utilizes the Salem witch trials as inspiration for a parable of McCarthyism of the 1950’s in which the HUAC would decimate one’s reputation on the grounds of suspicion as a communist. Miller reflects this in his story of trials of townspeople suspected of witchcraft. Miller develops the theme of the importance of reputation in society through the contrast in characterization of his characters Reverend Parris and John Proctor, who are most concerned with their good name in the eyes of their community and god, respectively.
Instances of characters who misuse their influence and defile the community are Abigail Williams and Reverend Samuel Parris. Abigail Williams uses deception and betrayal to selfishly save herself (“Abigail Williams”). This is prominent when she is being tediously questioned about the suspicious witchcraft activities in the woods, in which she answers by divulging false information. She says, “I never called him/ Tituba, Tituba”(Miller, 1.1. 880) In the excerpt she is eliminating herself as a suspect of witchcraft by condemning Tituba of calling on the Devil. Abigail continuously uses her influence to sway the blame of witchcraft away from her. She says, during interrogation,”I saw Sarah Good with the Devil/ I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil/ I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil” (Miller 1.1.1054-1056). The standing that she has in the Puritan society sways people to believe her. In addition to Abigail, Reverend Samuel Parris also abuses his authority. He only cares for his reputation and possessions that are of advantage to him and his name. While speaking with Abigail he says,“Abigail...just now when some good respect is rising for me in the parish, you compromise my very character/ I have given you a home, child/ I have put clothes upon your back—now give me an upright answer” (Miller 1.1.121-128). In the excerpt Parris is showing how he only worries for his daughter and Abigail being accused of witchcraft, because it will affect his reputation. Parris continues to manipulate the court with his title as reverend to keep what his daughter and niece did in the woods from tainting his status. The characters have an undue amount of influence in the town and use this
In the play, “The Crucible,” by Arthur Miller, Miller describes the lives of the people living in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It was a time where people would have an opportunity to get revenge on others by accusing them of witchcraft. These accusations caused the people living in Salem to be concerned about their reputations. Reverend Parris, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams are examples of people who are concerned with their reputations throughout the play.
Parris loves his reputation, he is willing to do anything to make his reputation higher. In the beginning of the play Parris is asking Abby what her and her friends did in the forest, he says to her “I cannot blink what I saw, Abigail, for my enemies will not blink it.” He doesn’t want people to think that his family has something to do with the devil. He shows throughout the play that he suffers from pressure from his peers. Parris doesn't want his daughter to have the devil with her. He does question Abby though, about the devil, instead of just assuming that they have nothing to do with the devil
‘’The Crucible’’ is a play by Arthur Miller which takes place in Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem witch trials. In the play, the people strongly believed in witchcraft and their personal grudges would serve as an excuse to accuse others of witchcraft. The characters were very selfish, they didn’t only accuse their peers because of revenge but also because they want their land and money. Since the people of Salem wanted vengeance all people living in Salem were very protective of their reputation. As a result, many characters went to great lengths to protect their reputation.
Another example that Abigail Williams is an example of dishonor is because of the significance of it towards Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail claimed Elizabeth of witchcraft to try to get Elizabeth out of the picture to be with John Proctor. Abigail complete disregarded the lives of others, as did McCarthy when he claimed those of communism. By doing so, this got many people fired, and some lives ruined do to allegations. Abigail does the same. As stated in the Crucible, “ You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (I. 175). This shows that Abigail did indeed attempt to get rid of Elizabeth Proctor and didn't think of cost of this decision. The rashness shown by Abigail is drawn all throughout the play by Miller to explain how influential and manipulative McCarthy was during the Red Scare. Another quote to explain this dishonor was stated by Elizabeth, “I am sure she does--and thinks to kill me, then to take my place.” (II. 197). This explains that Elizabeth already knew her fate and knew what Abigail intended to do. Also, the quote shows that Abigail has such dishonor that she would go through
Abigail knows that reputation is very important in Salem and works very hard to protect hers. When she gets caught for performing witchcraft, she blames a slave, Tituba. To save herself and improve her reputation, she pushes Tituba under the bus and portrays herself as the victim. Abigail claims that Tituba made her “drink blood” and “laugh at prayer” (44). Since Abigail knows how important her reputation is, she tells John Proctor that Elizabeth, his wife wants to destroy her by ruining her reputation: “She is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is a cold, sniveling woman, and you bend to her…”(23). Abigail tells Proctor this because she wants to manipulate him to think that Elizabeth, or ‘Goody
Arthur Miller portrays the character Abigail with prominent dishonesty to display how great she is at self-preservation. It all starts with Abigail lying to Parris about what happens in the woods saying, “There is nothing more. I swear it, uncle” (11). She blatantly lies and tries to cover up her tracks when she explains that they were “dancing just for sport”. Abigail also lies about conjuring the spirits as she
Is preserving one’s reputation important? In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, one of the themes is expressed through characters trying to keep their good reputation. . The characters that try to preserve their reputations are John Proctor, Reverend Parris, and Judge Danforth. Some characters try to preserve their reputation because they want to keep their name good or do not want to lose something important to them. Having a good name is important to have in The Crucible, It lets people know who can be trusted.
In “The crucible” reputation plays a major role in each character. For each character, reputation is what they live for and worry more about how society sees them. When their reputation is in trouble, they become a different person. Reverend Parris, Abigail, and Proctor become desperate and insane individuals once their reputation is in danger. Reverend Parris was not a major character in the story but he at the very beginning he showed that he worried more about his reputation than his daughter and Nieces safety.
In the book, The Crucible there are many characters that are concerned with preserving their own reputation. They felt that it was better to be seen in a good way by their society instead of negatively. Some of the characters that were worried about their reputation were Reverend Samuel Parris, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams. They would stop at no cost to save their dirty little secrets from the rest of the public. But while they were trying to preserve their reputation they may have hurt theirs at the same time.