The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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“The conflict created when the will of an individual opposes the will of the majority is a recurring feature of drama.” Identify such a conflict in a non-Shakespearean play you have studied and show how the dramatist deals with the implications for both the character and the society. Arthur Miller in ‘The Crucible,’ deals with the internal/external conflicts of protagonist John Proctor, during the witch trials of Salem; showing the effects of “an individual opposed to the will of the majority.” Through the mass hysteria caused by Abigail, corruption of justice and weakness of man; we see clearly the effects of fear and how Miller’s work translates into his own situation, during the introduction of McCarthyism. The most dominant…show more content…
The moment of no return for Proctor came after his confession of adultery, enraged by the court‘s blind justice at the hands of a “whore.” With no control over his anger, John sacrilegiously proclaimed “God is dead! I say you are pulling down heaven and raising up a whore.” As an unseen instigator of the movement against false confession during the trials of Salem, John Proctor shows a great deal of Integrity, ripping up the confession. This action is crucial to the events in the play and a running theme throughout. “Hysterically, as if the tearing paper were his life” both Parris and Hale plead with Proctor “Man you will hang.”. In the same way, Arthur Miller acts with integrity during his own trial, suggesting that that aspects of his own character have been translated in John Proctor. This reoccurring feature of drama, the effects of individual versus society, may also be identified as a reoccurring situation in society. That John Proctor’s life-affirming choice should lead to death is the greatest irony of the play, and yet another example of injustice in our society. “The greatest injustice in the whole conduct of the witch hunt is that the inquisitors offer a reprieve to those that confess, provided they name other suspects.” Let us hope that society has learnt from its mistakes, predominantly the effect of the McCarthyism

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