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

The Religious Aspects Of The Crucible Are Immersed In Hysteria - Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

???The Religious Aspects Of The Crucible Are Immersed In Hysteria - Discuss. The Crucible is a play, which draws a parallel between the Salem witch-hunts of 1692 and McCarthyism in the 1950s. Arthur Miller, author of the play, was put in prison in the early 1950s owing to his slight left wing sympathies. In this period of time, the American regime was very strict and paranoid; this was caused by fear of 'reds under the bed' (communists in America). When Miller was released from prison he chose to write a play outlining his views on America, but instead of directly using his own situation, he used a parallel event to put his ideas forward. The chosen event was the Salem witch-hunts of 1692. Miller portrayed the puritanical Communist regime, seeped in intrigue, suspicion and fear, as the society that was in existence in Salem, the town in which the play is set, prior to the religious hysteria, which swept the community. Salem was a theocracy, which means 'a system controlled by aspects of religion', or in Salem's case, people who took the every word of The Bible literally. ...read more.

Middle

The lowest and most despised inhabitant of Salem was Tituba, the black, slave-girl of the Reverend Parris. As the hysteria within the community increased, their social positions are dramatically changed. The chaos started when two of the town's teenage girls, Betty and Ruth were struck down by a mysterious illness. The girls had been participating in a black magic ritual in the Virgin Forest the previous night. Once the townsfolk heard of this, they immediately connected the two events and assumed that the devil and witchcraft had infiltrated the village. Miller linked this to communism spreading through America. As in the Salem witch-hunts, special committees were set up, led by McCarthy. Their aim was to search out Communist sympathisers in the United States. Many 'suspected' Communists were persuaded to confess and name other sympathizers to avoid punishment. As a result there was a mad hysterical rush to falsely accuse fellow citizens, thereby shifting the possibility of guilt from themselves. Once these rumours started, the townsfolk of Salem were able to use the situation to accuse their enemies of using black magic and witchcraft to gain vengeance and retribution. ...read more.

Conclusion

By trying to maintain their virtuous society according to their beliefs, they were effectively destroying it. Towards the end of the play the hysteria only existed because people wanted it to. It "suspends the rules of daily life and allows the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under the cover of righteousness." At the end of the play the religious framework was drastically changed. The leader of the community, Reverend Parris, had his power usurped by the 'black magic worshipping, teenage girls, in the fervour of the mass hysteria. He was not excused from the accusations either from Tituba. The hysteria surpassed racial and sexual prejudices. The teenage girls soon found, that if they made a simple accusation, this could incarcerate and convict some of the most important citizens of Salem. The once respected and worthy citizen, John Proctor, no longer had any social clout and found himself examining his own conscience and responsibility for the mass hysteria that had swept his town. Because the people have been suppressed in their thoughts and actions for so long, they were unable to apply mature thinking and reasoning to the events surrounding them. Ryan Keefe 10HR Mr Munn The Crucible Essay 10th November 2004 Source - http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/crucible/ ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. There is a clear parallel between the events of 1692 in Salem and the ...

    In both trials people either confessed or stood firm. There were repercussions of both acts. People who confessed lost their jobs and became social outcasts; in Salem people were outcasts from society and were considered a lower form. Proctor was not willing to confess because of this as he felt his reputation was more important.

  2. The Crucible - summary.

    immoral woman such as Bridget Bishop, and John Proctor did not drink his family to ruin as did Isaac Ward. Parris suggests postponing these hangings, and admits that there seems to be dissatisfaction, as shown by the low turnout at Proctor's excommunication.

  1. Saving Private Ryan

    The creation of suspense and tension builds on the audience as the distinctive roar of waves introduces a view of a beach littered by the metal hedgehogs. We are then given the date of June 6th 1944, establishing the theme of the movie, setting a scene for the audience before the viewing of the chaotic violence.

  2. Crucible : tension fear and hysteria

    Then Mary Warren enters the room, really panicking. "The whole country's talkin witchcraft! They'll be callin us witches, Abby!" Shouts Mary. This shows to the audience how they are really feeling and the tension in the community about what happened that night and suddenly Betty wakes up running towards the window calling for her mother, then Abigail calls her back.

  1. "The Crucible Effectively Demonstrates the Development of Hysteria and the Consequences of Mass Paranoia." ...

    His attitude is stressed and anxious. The audience can tell this by the way that he reacts to Tituba's entrance: "Out of here!" are his first words to her. Tituba is obviously scared of him, as the stage directions for her are "backing to the door".

  2. In 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, ten teen-age girls claimed that Reverend Samuel Parris' slave, ...

    he sees a way to settle old scores with various people, particularly by pursuing the cases of Giles and Corey. Towards the end Parris backs down and tries to prevent the death of so many popular figures within the community 'Excellency, I would postpone these hangin's for a time,' he

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