The Crucible Essay Questions 1. Discuss the role that grudges and personal rivalries play in the witch trial hysteria? The Crucible takes place in the Town of Salem which is an odd town, they’re very easy to believe in superstitions yet they are very religious and take faith in God and God’s power. With all of this going on, there also some grudges that people hold against each other, so when people are given the power, they take advantage of the trials and take revenge on their rivals or the people they dislike.
For example, Abigail who is the main antagonist, holds a grudge against John’s wife Elizabeth for the act that she fired her after discovering what she had been doing. While all this is happening, Abigail abuses her power and uses it to frame Elizabeth Proctor and send her to jail. Another example is the grudge held between the Putnams and Francis nurse. Francis is having a land dispute against one of the Putnams and he also stopped Putnam’s brother-in-law from getting elected to the ministry.
After Ann Putnam loses her seven babies, they take the opportunity and blame it on Francis’s wife Rebecca. Instead of the trials being a hunt for actual witches, it turns into a feud between the towns people ince many are easy to believe in such lies without any evidence, and becomes a place for them to accuse each other so they can pleasure themselves with joy. 2. How do the witch trials empower individuals who were previously powerless? Salem is a very hierarchical society. The mean hold all the power in the town, and they are believed to be supported by God and the law of the town.
In the hierarchy, the ministry men are on the top while on the bottom are the younger females such as Mary or Abigail. Most of these girls are very powerless, but due to the trials they gain the power to accuse other people and use he devil as an excuse. The girls find and use their powers to their advantage, for example Mary Warren realizes her power and defies John’s authority over her. Before the girls were just God’s representatives but now they are treated with a power equal to maybe even God holds.
To show how much power the girls received, an example is that even the African American slave of the town gains power just by claiming to be possessed by the devil and having a connection to the divine. She abuses her empowerment by accusing her master, Parris saying that she heard the “suggestions from the devil”. She also now has power over people had no right to even talk to, and this witch trial basically puts the powerless into a position of great power. 3. At the end of the play, John Proctor recovers his sense of goodness by tearing up the confession that would have saved his life.
Given his character and the events which have led up to this moment, do you find this act believable? Fully explain your response. John Proctor is the play’s tragic hero and the protagonist in a way. He has a very clear conscience and does good deeds but he has one flaw, his lust for Abigail Williams. His and Abigail’s relationship becomes one of the play’s most important dilemmas. Proctor takes it like a man and admits to what he has done and takes responsibility even though most of the fault isn’t his.
When there is no hope left, he takes claim to his adultery thinking he can stop the girls and their lies. Although he ends up confessing, he holds onto the secret for a long time to keep his pride and his wife’s pride. Even though he confesses it is too late, it turns around on him and he is arrested and accused of being a witch. After being arrested, his problem becomes hether if he should confess to being a witch or if he shouldn’t and keep his pride and honor. The judges and Reverend Hale almost convince him but in the end he decides to tear up the confession which would have saved him.
If he had confessed he would be betraying himself and the other prisoners who also refuse to confess. He takes the death penalty as a punishment for not stopping the trials when he could have, I believe this act is very believable because with his actions throughout the play, he seems like a honest man who would rather keep his pride and honor, rather than living a life which is based on a lie. . Discuss the changes that Reverend Hale undergoes in the course of the play. John Hale, a very intellectual witch-hunter.
He is called to Salem to ascertain witchcraft in which he is very proud of, he is described as a very eager and tight-skinned person in Act I. He displays his unique knowledge on witchcraft, as he goes around asking for confessions and asking that people testify, making him the main person behind the trials at first. Throughout the play he undergoes the most remarkable transformation than any other character. After listening to everyone, he uses his ntellect to analyze the fact that the girls and Abigail are telling lies and just using their power incorrectly.
In Act III he has completely changed and opposes the witch trials, saying it’s all fake. But by the time he realizes what is really going on, he no longer has the power in his hands to stop the trials and the power is just transferred to the judges, who are in denial of Reverend Hale’s claims. He starts as a proud and eager man, but by the end he becomes very sad and he is ashamed in the fact that he didn’t see through the lies earlier, and he regrets letting John Proctor die. He starts disbelieving in the law after he sees that none of the judges will take his word.
He tries to make the accused confess their sins so they can save themselves, not realizing that the people would rather die than live with false sins. He surrenders to the lies instead of trying to fight and that it one of his biggest flaws, seeing that survival is over someone’s pride. 5. How does The Crucible portray justice or injustice? The town of salem is very superstitious and easy to believe in lies so this leads to a failure in their justice system. Justice is sually seen in the way that you’re innocent till proven guilty and that if you are guilty then you have to receive a punishment.
In this play you see no justice and just a lot of injustice, seeing that people who are accused are punished without any evidence whatsoever. The play forgets about justice and relies more on people’s personal hatred against others and that becomes “justice” in the play. Due to this injustice, many individuals who were completely innocent were punished, such as the old man who was killed just for his land, and him not being able from girls dancing in the woods to the girls turning mad by the ear of justice leading to them acting sick and telling lies.
The defend himself when accused. This play turned first accusation is Abigail using Tituba as a scapegoat, but Tituba uses this smartly and takes it into her advantage going along with she has been accused of. The town’s religious authorities believe that they are doing God’s work of justice. They think that God is speaking through the girls and helping them find the witches who have committed crimes. The system is ruined by the girls and these men in power are reliant on the fact that these girls are speaking for God.