Synopsis Act One The opening narration explains the context of Salem and the Puritan colonists of Massachusettswhich the narrator depicts as an isolated theocratic society in constant conflict with Native Americans. The narrator speculates that the lack of civil liberties, isolation from civilization, and lack of stability in the colony caused latent internal tensions which would contribute to the events depicted in the play.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Intolerance The Crucible is set in a theocratic society, in which the church and the state are one, and the religion is a strict, austere form of Protestantism known as Puritanism.
Because of the theocratic nature of the society, moral laws and state laws are one and the same: In Salem, everything and everyone belongs to either God or the devil; dissent is not merely unlawful, it is associated with satanic activity.
This dichotomy functions as the underlying logic behind the witch trials. Hysteria Another critical theme in The Crucible is the role that hysteria can play in tearing apart a community.
Hysteria supplants logic and enables people to believe that their neighbors, whom they have always considered upstanding people, are committing absurd and unbelievable crimes—communing with the devil, killing babies, and so on.
In The Crucible, the townsfolk accept and become active in the hysterical climate not only out of genuine religious piety but also because it gives them a chance to express repressed sentiments and to act on long-held grudges.
The most obvious case is Abigail, who uses the situation to accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft and have her sent to jail. But others thrive on the hysteria as well: Reverend Parris strengthens his position within the village, albeit temporarily, by making scapegoats of people like Proctor who question his authority.
In the end, hysteria can thrive only because people benefit from it. It suspends the rules of daily life and allows the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under the cover of righteousness.
Reputation Reputation is tremendously important in theocratic Salem, where public and private moralities are one and the same. In an environment where reputation plays such an important role, the fear of guilt by association becomes particularly pernicious. Focused on maintaining public reputation, the townsfolk of Salem must fear that the sins of their friends and associates will taint their names.
Various characters base their actions on the desire to protect their respective reputations. Meanwhile, the protagonist, John Proctor, also seeks to keep his good name from being tarnished. By refusing to relinquish his name, he redeems himself for his earlier failure and dies with integrity.
Goodness In The Crucible, the idea of goodness is a major theme. Almost every character is concerned with the concept of goodness, because their religion teaches them that the most important thing in life is how they will be judged by God after they die.
They want to be found good, because being good will make them right with God. The characters want to be seen as good by the whole village. From the opening of the play, when the Rev.
Other characters, such as Mary Warren, confess, because being seen as good is more important to them than telling the truth.
We see the struggle in the Rev. Hale, Elizabeth Proctor, and John Proctor. By the end of the play, he has examined his conscience and realized that if he wants to be at peace with himself, he has to encourage the prisoners to falsely confess.Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible can be interpreted from numerous approaches, but one lens that is unmistakable throughout is the psychological criticism.
From a psychological standpoint, one gains access to the mindset of both the author and the characters within.
In The Crucible, Arthur Miller uses revenge as the main theme throughout the playwright. Revenge is the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to someone else. Revenge is shown throughout the characters actions in the play.
Known as McCarthyism, the paranoid hunt for infiltrators was notoriously difficult on writers and entertainers, many of whom were labeled communist sympathizers and were unable to continue working.
Inspired by the McCarthy hearings of the s, Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, focuses on the inconsistencies of the Salem witch trials and the extreme behavior that can result from dark desires and hidden agendas.
Miller bases the play on the historical account of the Salem witch trials. It looks like you've lost connection to our server.
Please check your internet connection or reload this page. Themes in The Crucible In the crucible Arthur Miller takes the chilling story of the Salem witch hunt in and combines it with the issues of McCarthyism in the s. The play reflects Miller’s ideas and opinions about McCarthyism and what he thinks are the similarities to the Salem witch hunts.