The Crucible Comparative Essay

1392 Words6 Pages
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible and David Rothkopf’s TED Talk How Fear Drives America Politics are two significant texts that emphasise a fundamental political message that remains timeless throughout both the Puritan society within the world of the play and the contemporary society of Miller and Rothkopf. Ultimately the use of fear in order to gain political advantage and control the masses is a profound power present in the political dimension that is explored within both these texts and offers personal insight into the McCarthy era of the Cold War that Miller was subjected to and the post-9/11 hysteria that gripped America when Rothkopf was emerging as a prominent journalist. Miller’s depiction of Abigail and the girls in particular and…show more content…
A number of important themes are paralleled within both the play and Miller’s reality, including McCarthyism, which in contemporary times is generally referred to as, “reckless and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks, on political opponents”. McCarthy shares similarities with Abigail and the girls, who use their newfound political power to falsely accuse others and harness the power of fear as a means of control. Ultimately Miller draws a disturbing comparison – that despite almost two hundred years passes, the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 were no different to Miller’s trial in 1953, with fear and public hysteria ultimately the catalyst that drives American politics. This is eerily reflected once again in David Rothkopf’s TED Talk entitled How Fear Drives America Politics, released in 2015. Rothkopf’s focus on terrorism, resulting in hysteria and ultimately society’s civil liberties coming under attack draws similarities to both the power of the girls and their claims of witchcraft. “They posed an existential threat to no one.”, Rothkopf argues in reference to Al-Qaeda in the early 21st century, just as witchcraft did in Salem
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