• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Flaws of the Salem Witch Trials

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Flaws of the Salem Witch Trials Cowering behind a chair, a young child screams, "Please, please leave me!" In bewilderment her mother watches, unable to do anything. "No! Stop speaking to me, leave me!" the girl cries in anguish. These were the days of the devil; the days of the Salem Witch Trials. An analysis of the trials provides a unique contrast to today's trials. The Witch Trials began in the Puritan town of Salem in late February of 1692 and lasted through April of 1693. According to National Geographic in their online article "Prologue," the trials began when Elizabeth Paris, the daughter of Reverend Samuel Paris, and her two friends, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam, began behaving strangely such as shouting nonsense, cowering under chairs and contorting themselves (Internet). ...read more.

Middle

The Puritan belief system was based on laws and fear. Instead of believing in the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver them from the power of the devil, they feared the power of a witch. This great fear brought them to kill many innocent people. Also, when someone was brought before a trial, they were asked if they knew anyone else that was a witch. The people named would be brought to trial based simply on the words of someone else. In a trial today, someone is brought to trial because there was a violation of the law and evidence led them to believe this person was possibly guilty. According to Brendan Dignan in his article "Governor, Sir William Phips," it was found that "The court's aggressive use of spectral evidence and the seeking of confessions, backed ...read more.

Conclusion

This jury consists of 12 people that listen to both sides of the issue, have no known bias, and use facts to make a decision. The Salem Witch Trials had one judge making decisions, and he was bias. In the midst of the trials, Governor William Phips appointed William Stoughton who was described as an "unrelenting zealot, who looked to find guilt by means of spectral evidence, in nearly every one accused of witchcraft"(Dignan Internet). To have a fair and just trial there must be a group of people who are unbiased and base their decisions on facts. In conclusion, the Salem Witch Trials had many flaws. In comparison to today's trials they conflict in three different ways. If these trials had been unbiased and based on facts rather than hysteria innocent people could have been saved. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Arthur Miller essays

  1. Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism.

    Many things gave evidence to this presumption of witchcraft: "Whenever God's name was mentioned, the girls screamed, as if in great pain" (Zeinert 33). This was a key in giving credibility to the thought of witchcraft, because the Devil is the opposite of God.

  2. How Did it All Begin: The Salem Witch Trials

    been lead to a mass hysteria or panic about witches, even though there really were no witches. Also, many of the accused and convicted witches were church-going elite (Internet National Geographic). For example, Martha Cory was one of the few church-goers that were entitled to take communion (Internet National Geographic).

  1. The Salem Witch Trials

    He was not guilty and would rather die in faith and belief in his God than claim to be a part of Satan's lies. And finally five died in prison, this included an infant.(National Geographic) How did it start? It started with three young girls and a Caribbean house keeper named Tituba.

  2. How would you explain the outbreak of witch persecution in New England towards the ...

    With one half of Salem becoming wealthy whilst the other half faced certain decline it appeared a way of not only exorcising guilt and rage but also bringing the successful into disrepute. Salem does not reflect other witch trials in that a normal neighbourly quarrel wouldn't result in an accusation,

  1. Exploring the importance of religion to the community of Salem

    The people of Salem look highly upon their religion; the comparing of themselves to people of other religions is used during the play. In act one Parris speaks in disbelief by saying "What, are we Quakers?" This speaking in disbelief by comparing themselves to people of other religions shows how other religions are seen as inferior.

  2. Explore the importance of religion to the community of Salem

    This is an example of how he doesn't want to hurt his pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins. By the end of the story, the audience can clearly see that Danforth is now only convicting people to give himself the feeling that something was wrong in the

  1. What do we learn of Salem and three of its inhabitants in the opening ...

    Proctor is introduced as a normally upright, and respectable character, one being able to make ?a fool [feel] his foolishness instantly?. However, the text quickly points out that although he is well respected in the village, being able to expose hypocrisy and stand up for his own opinions, we quickly

  2. The Real Salem Witch Trials

    Anne was the only girl involved to make an official apology in 1706 in front of a church congregation. She accused sixty two people in total. Abigail accused forty one. Interestingly enough, when Sarah Good was being tried she showed no signs of remorse or weakness.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work