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Discuss the dramatic presentation of truth, justice and morality in

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Introduction

Discuss the dramatic presentation of truth, justice and morality in "The Crucible" "The Crucible" is essentially a story about witchcraft, but the one key theme which occurs throughout the play and plays a fundamental part in it, is justice. A large proportion of the play is actually set in court, the "house of justice", which is a very symbolic way of showing its importance. Normally in every day life, the judge of the court is the person who brings out the justice in the cases brought forwards, but in "The Crucible" it is not always clear if this is the case; sometimes it even seems to be the other way round. Often there are times when pivotal characters such as John Proctor will question Judge Hathorn or Deputy Governor Danforth's decisions and reasoning, and sometimes even the verdict, and the reader will see that in a lot of these cases, the two most powerful and influential men in the town are often in the wrong. This does not say a lot for the justice system in place in Salem. A prime example of this is in Act Two, when the authorities are trying to arrest Elizabeth for having a needle in a poppet in her house, because of something Abigail Williams has said. John becomes angry and says, "why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God's fingers?" This is a very good argument, and one which the reader feels grateful to John for pointing out. ...read more.

Middle

He explains that "twelve are already hanged for the same crime. It is not just" to set people free for something others have died for. It may seem wrong at the time, because the reader does not want to see some of the main characters die, but in one way he is right - the families of those who had already died for the same crime would be angry that others had got away with it, maybe provoking riot or disruption in the town. However surely it is never too late to redeem yourself, and after all, "two wrongs don't make a right" - this is entirely true. Continuing to kill people for a crime they have not committed, even when you have realised the error of your ways, is just cruel. Justice is a word inextricably linked to truth and honesty, which is also a major theme throughout "The Crucible." The turning point in the play is when Mary Warren tells the court that the whole of the girls' activities which had been blamed on witchcraft were really "pretence", and she claims that they are all lying. This is a pivotal moment, which just goes to show how important truth and honesty are in this play. The entire play revolves around one statement, and the plot is dramatically affected by whether the characters in the book believe it to be truth or lies, and we never find out who was telling the truth. ...read more.

Conclusion

No one wants him to die, but he has to, because of what the law says at the time. This makes it even worse; that even the men who have hanged many others for the same crime are trying to make him live, but there is nothing they can do. The very last scene is very powerful, and when we see Proctor ride off towards his death, we finally understand one of the morals of the book - stand up for what you believe in, no matter what. Arthur Miller is able to make this moral incredibly clear, because he himself has gone through a similar experience. The play is based on the McCarthyism era, when American communist were hunted like the witches in Salem, and made to name other communists to prove they had abandoned their left wing views. Many fell to McCarthyism, but a few stood up for their beliefs - Arthur Miller being one of them. This is reflected in John Proctor throughout the play, and both men share the same thoughts and morals. It is obvious that Miller really wanted to put across the idea of being an individual, and standing up for what you believe in, and to show the irony of how unjust the justice system really was in those days, and still is in some places. It is clear he was very passionate about these things, and it really comes across in this play - just the words are enough to give a good impression of what he is trying to show, and builds up an image of each of the characters which the reader can really relate to. ...read more.

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