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20th century drama- The Crucible

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Introduction

20th century drama Coursework-The Crucible by Arther Miller. John Proctor is a victim of the church, the court, Abigail Williams his wife and his own actions -yet he ends the play a hero. Explain. For many of modern day America's occupants, the church and the law are kept at a distance from one another; however this was not the case for those who inhabited America but a few centuries ago. In 1692, "the people of Salem developed a theocracy , a combine of state and power whose function was to keep the community together." Salem, Massachusetts was in theory governed by God. What the church stated, was deemed as law and the court justified this as the laws of the vicinity were seen as divine commands. The community was made up of perhaps over religious individuals, who looked to the church for reassurance in their unstable lives, as most of the district had been brought together through fleeing persecution elsewhere. Through this extreme behaviour those who contrasted vastly and were not religious were seen to be in cahoots with the devil and able to perform witchcraft. ...read more.

Middle

He speaks to Elizabeth in a respectful manner as is shown by the quote "are you well today?" However he finds it hard to control his feelings of disapproval towards her at times. Proctor: "(holding back a full condemnation of her) It is a fault. Elizabeth you are the mistress here not Mary Warren" Elizabeth looks to him for approval and blushes with pleasure when she receives it as she wishes to do anything in order to ensure his safety and happiness. Ultimately however this works against Proctor when she presents a lie as truth against her character in order to seemingly save him. Proctor is not the only man within the book in a position of substantial power. As a Reverend Parris has a lot of influence within the community which goes to his head a little," the man dreams cathedrals" shows that he prays for impressive Godly possessions to aid him in his role of religious leader. He does not look kindly upon those who wish to drive him from his pulpit and believes that anyone who wishes to do this may be involved in dark deeds. ...read more.

Conclusion

Proctor love for his family and wife leads him to sign the paper of admission and live for them however he realises he cannot go through with it and go against his own morals. 'How can I live without my name? I have given you my soul, leave my name!' This shows that he believes if he lies he would be sacrificing his name which all he has left of his pride and it would be tainted, and thus in his eyes, unworthy of life. The fact he is sacrificing his life in order to show the ridiculousness of the whole situation is heroic even though he has partially upon himself as his intimidating status and admission of lechery lead the community to expect the worst of him. Throughout the play Arthur Miller is trying to address the issues of McCarthyism and human weakness. He is attempting to show how small incidents can be blown out of proportion if jealousy and other human weaknesses are involved. He shows the human tendency to conform and how this can lead to downfall. He emphasises the importance of truth and loyalty as through death proctor gains respect for himself and saves the community from even more widespread destruction. These issues are still important in contempory situations. ...read more.

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