Theocracy as the Cause of the Salem Witch Trials
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play that shows how the Salem witch trials unfold. As a Puritan society, Salem functions as a theocracy. Unlike today 's United States government in which Church and State are entirely separate entities, a theocracy is essentially the Church acting as the government. Because of the theocratic nature of Salem 's governing body, religion plays a principal role in the lives of every character and has a major effect on the progression of the plot. In The Crucible, theology is used as a tool to accomplish ulterior motives of greed and vengeance, allowing the witch trials to gain momentum. The theocratic governing body in Salem is ultimately responsible for the witch trials due to laws based on religion rather than reason that are enforced by a corrupt criminal justice system.
In the Puritan society, laws are based purely on biblical teaching, even if they are not grounded in logic. For example, the illegality of dance is irrational, since dance poses no harm, but due to Puritan teachings against it, dancing is against the law. Abigail Williams and several other young girls begin the momentum of witchcraft accusations after they were found dancing in the woods. Although they had done other, presumably worse, things than dancing, the fact that their simple, childish act is worthy of legal punishment is incredibly unreasonable. Their behavior prompts several accusations of witchcraft by the
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The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a rich and enticing play set in the late 1600’s describing the epic horrors and emotions through the events of the Salem witch trials. The Crucible, focuses primarily on the inconsistencies of the Salem witch trials and the extreme behavior that can result from dark desires and hidden agendas. The play begins with the discovery of several young girls and an African American slave, Tituba, in the woods just outside of Salem, dancing and pretending to conjure spirits. The Puritans of Salem stood for complete religious intolerance and stressed the need to follow the ways of the bible literally without exception. The actions of the women in
Church was the foundation of life in New England. People in Massachusetts were Puritans colonists seeking freedom and religious acceptance by leaving England. The Puritan lifestyle was self-controlled and firmly enforced. Since Puritans were expected to live by a resistant code; they believed that all sins committed should be punished and that God would punish sinful behavior. When someone went against their codes, Puritans saw it as God’s will to not help them. In keeping up with the Puritan code of obedience, the many women to be accused of witchcraft in Salem were seen as divergent and social
The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, was a historical play written about the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692-93. The Salem witch trials created mass hysteria throughout the entire village of Salem, which was also mainly inhabited by Puritans. Puritans had a set ideal of firm beliefs that managed how they lived. Essentially, they were living as an elect, which meant they (referring to the Puritans) had a place in heaven for the righteous acts they have done in the physical world. Meaning, any sinful acts could potentially hinder the chances of entering heaven as an elect. The Crucible, questioned everything the Puritans abided by. It questioned the basic morals of a pure lifestyle, adultery and
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is an interpretation of the Salem witch trials of 1692 in Puritan Massachusetts in which religion, justice, individuality and dignity play a vital role. These factors define the characteristics of many of the most significant characters in the play. Some of them being John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Reverend Hale, Danforth and many others. The Salem witch trials were a result of the lack of expression of individuality and the fact that no individual could expect justice from the majority culture as a result of the deterioration of human dignity in the Puritan society of Salem.
A society that praises moral righteousness and piety is destroyed by a series of witch trials that are ironically immoral and unfair. The Salem Witch Trials are fueled by personal motives and feuds that emerge because of the restrictions in Puritan society. The society nurtures a culture of fear and distrust that stems from dread of the devil and strict adherence to the Bible. Salem is the perfect environment for fear and vengeance to spread through witchcraft accusations, because people have no other means to gain power or get revenge on enemies. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller portrays how the Puritan society in Salem influences the witch trials and increases their impact, because of the religion-based justice system, women and
In The Crucible, the theocratic Christian society where God and the law are the same, the faith of the Salem community becomes flawed and twisted as Religion is taken advantage of to serve private interests, ultimately poisoning society. This worldly abuse of Religion can be seen when members of Salem twist their faith to secure their reputation, grapple for political power, and carry out personal vengeances.
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible focuses on the Salem Witch Trials along with the pointing of fingers that went along with it. Miller wrote this to reflect upon what was occurring during the Red Scare in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Crucible is written in an ironic and cynical tone mocking the Red Scare.
While Puritan religious beliefs did contribute to the Salem Witch Trials, it was only to a minor extent as, rather than being the true source of the witchcraft fear, they were used by New England authorities to manipulate and control the public. In the 1600s, religion was the cornerstone of Puritan society, a denomination that originated in England and was established in America with the migration of approximately 9,000 colonists between 1630 and 1645. Already superstitious, with a Christian Church that preached of a God who protected his servants, and a Devil who preyed on the weak, society’s fears were intensified
In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, he writes, “We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” (Miller 77). This partially fictionalized tale of the Salem Witch Trials points to one of the causes of the trials, vengeance, but the over dramatized tale 's early stages were quiet. The Salem Witch Episode had humble beginnings in the town of Salem Village, Massachusetts, but evolved into one of the most widely known witch trials in American History. The gallows in Salem claimed the lives of nineteen men and woman during the spring and summer of 1692 due to the accusations of witchcraft with over a hundred people who were accused. After all the terror and the uproar of the trials occurred, everything came to a screeching halt (Linder 1). Due to the unique circumstances of this particular set of witch trials, from the rampant accusations to the discontinuation of the trials mass hysteria does not seem to be fault as with other witch trials, but a variety of factors. The Salem witch trials were not just a simple case of mass hysteria, but a combination of factors ranging from poisons to superstitions to scapegoats, resulting in the outbreak of the Salem Witch episode.
The Salem witchcraft trials resulted from a climate of repression, religious intolerance, and social hierarchy combined with fanaticism and the oppression of women. The Puritan leaders used the trials as a way to control the community and to prevent change in the strict social hierarchy. The trials ensured that the teachings of the church would be followed - anyone not following the church was simply accused of being a witch and punished accordingly. Witchcraft was considered a crime, and punishment was severe. The first recorded incidents of Witchcraft originated in the mind of a young girls who would supposedly use crystal balls to try and predict their future.
Arthur Miller writes about the tragic results of human failings in his play, The Crucible. He presents characters from the past and infuses them with renewed vitality and color. Miller demonstrates the horrifying results of succumbing to personal motives and flaws as he writes the painful story of the Salem witch trials. Not only do the trials stem from human failings but also from neglect of moral and religious considerations of that time. Characters begin to overlook Puritan values of thrift and hope for salvation. Focusing on the flawed characters, they begin to exhibit land lust, envy of the miserable and self-preservation.
The most important reason was the ergot, which was a parasitic fungus that poisoned people through rye bread. This caused caused symptoms that were very similar to the symptoms blamed on witchcraft, leading adding credibility to this reason. Additionally, this reason is the most logical and scientifically sound reason out of all of these documents, since it relied on biology. The second most important reason was probably the fanaticism that caused everyone to blame Satan for the witchcraft, which stopped people from looking for other reasons which may have caused the witchcraft. This fanaticism stopped people from looking at other causes of the symptoms, and they didn’t bother to use a scientific or logical perspective because they were
The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a tragic story of injustice suffered by an innocent community who are subjected to the hypocritical, prideful judges of their trial. These Judges use their power to eliminate evidence of their mistakes and return their community to puritanical ways. The leaders of Salem are not concerned with seeking the truth and justice, but with maintaining their authority and reputations; this objective leads them to consistently rejecting truth, against all logic and evidence of their senses.
One concept is capable of more destruction than almost anything else. It can change a person’s life, or end it. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a play that is set in Salem, Massachusetts in the early 1690’s. The play revolves around the infamous Salem Witch Hunts and their proceedings both within the court and outside of the court. Within this plotline, a theme of greed functions in the play, influencing the actions of certain characters, including Reverend Parris, Thomas Putnam, and Abigail.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is an interpretation of the Salem witch trials of 1692 in Puritan Massachusetts in which religion, self- preservation and self-dignity play a vital role. The three factors I listed played a huge role in John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Reverend Hale, Danforth and many other lives. Many other characters such as, Abigail Williams and her friends can be characterized by being greedy, bitter, and selfish. In the play, Miller reveals how people can go against their own morals, therefore they can protect themselves. In Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, he reveals to readers how fear escalated in Salem because of people's desire for personal gain.