Crucible Essay


All members of society are subject to sociological rules and regulations that are often hypocritical. These hypocrisies, both concrete and unspoken, are the subject of criticism by authors the world over, utilizing various methods and styles to ridicule society's many fables. Characterisation is one of these methods used by creators of text in order to allow audiences to relate with certain characters, which in turn will allow them to relate to the ideas intended by the creator of the text. This is portrayed by Arthur Miller, the creator of The Crucible. He uses characters to represent certain ideas, ideas which audiences with either disagree or concur with depending on their opinion!


Throughout the play, The Crucible, a theme of moral choice arouses. This occurs due to the problems, which arise involving the morality of the characters. A focus is placed upon those who face a moral choice in the play, which allows us to witness the development of their character. These characters, when faced with adversity confront a moral and mental dilemma. In order to solve this, they must grow as human beings and attain a level of righteousness, which allows them to make the correct decision. A perfect example of this is the protagonist John Proctor. Throughout this play John Proctor has to overcome tremendous emotional and moral hurdles and as a result his character develops into a loyal, honest and fair person. He sticks up for his friends and family when he knows of their innocence and is willing to defy the law in order to persevere in saving those he cares for. As the reader we see these ideas associated with proctor continuously throughout the story, and the majority of us are able to accept the fact that he has more than an adequate amount of the fundamental qualities needed by a person with good intentions.


Now Danforth on the other hand is basically the opposite of Proctor, he is an inexorable adjudicator once convinced, who we the reader get the feeling is inexpedient at being a powerful, respectful judge since he has fallen into the social trap of hypocrisy. He is in fact the opposite of a fair judge; he is incompetent with power which in the end corrupts everything with his abuse of power. We see this misuse of power and accept the fact that Arthur Miller has assiduously characterised Danforth to express his idea of politics not always being fair, but rather inequitable.


Reverend Hale’s battle is initiated by his personal commitment to God. He is a deeply religious man who was unrelenting in his quest for the devil. Originally, Hale believed that there was witchcraft in the town and wanted to drive it out. As the ridiculousness of the court rises, Hale begins to oppose the actions it takes, he witnesses sincere and respectable townspeople being sentenced and hung. He learns that what is being done is definitely wrong and here begins his inner turmoil. With scrutiny, he looks at himself and tries to figure out which way to go. Should he continue with what he is doing and listen to Danforth or should he listen to his conscience? He does try a feeble attempt to talk to Danforth and explain how their actions are unjust, but again, his inner struggle pulls him back to a more moderate stand. Hale then decides to persuade the wrongly accused to confess witchcraft. At least this will save them from death by hanging. He preaches perjury to the people, even though this is also against their religion. Hale’s principles were ridden with guilt and sadness because of his struggle with himself. We view Hale as a respectful, loyal, and caring character, so we agree with the idea that he represents a fighter with the qualities of a good person, who Arthur Miller portrays as a true minister.


Abigail seems to be the character filled with hate, greed, jealousy and anger. since she can “force” the other girls to fake the whole witch hunt deal, and in the end persuade the “powerful” Danforth. Miller portrays her as a vindictive, wicked and persuasive girl. Perhaps persuasive is too mild an adjective, but her evilness or malevolence is indoctrinating. She is insubordinate and obviously views herself as preeminent and powerful and her manipulative capability leaves