The Crucible: Characters

1538 WordsOct 8, 19997 Pages
The Crucible: Characters Chetan Patel The Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in 1953, is based on the true story of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Miller wrote the play to parallel the situations in the mid-twentieth century of Alger Hiss, Owen Latimore, Julius and Ethel Rosenburg, and Senator McCarthy, if only suggestively. (Warshow 116) Some characters in the play have specific agendas carried out by their accusations, and the fact that the play is based on historical truth makes it even more intriguing. The characters in this play are simple, common people. The accused are charged and convicted of a crime that is impossible to prove. The following witchcraft hysteria takes place in one of America's…show more content…
This relationship motivates her denunciation of John and Elizabeth Proctor. This offers an easily theatrical motive for one of his characters. (Warshow 114) It also makes Abigail seem like a cold, calculated adult. This is more like an element of twentieth century entertainment than of a theocracy in 1692, but Miller has to appeal to his audience to make the play popular in 1953. The rest of the girls in the play, including Susanna Walcott, Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren, and Betty Parris, are all covering up for their own actions. Abigail herself admits that they were dancing in the woods, and Parris says they were naked. The girls had been asking the slave, Tituba, to conjure spells, and Parris finds out about it. He says, "And what shall I say to them? That my daughter and my niece I discovered dancing like heathen in the forest?" (Miller 7) And then, "My own household is discovered to be the very center of some obscene practice. Abominations are done in the forest--" (Miller 8) The children know that they are going to be punished for their behavior, and they make up the stories that they were bewitched to place the blame elsewhere. When greedy people like the Putnams start encouraging them, it becomes easier to lie and they begin to enjoy all the attention and power they hold. They are probably also afraid of Abigail. After a while, she makes it impossible for the
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