The Crucible by Artur Miller


All throughout the seventeenth-century, there was a continuous influx of religious individuals into North America. This inflow of settlers was primarily the result of the persecution of their denominations in their home by the established churches. The region with the most persecuted settlers was Massachusetts, which was to become the new residence of the Puritans. These ascetic folks based their theology on different grounds, praising simplicity in a very difficult way. Their views are dark, not as in the color black, but as inflexibility by all means, restraint. Their severity is depicted in their way of thinking, proceeding, and even in their decision "to deny any other sect its freedom."(Miller, 5) Puritans, as the name correctly clarifies their intentions to purify their new home from the corruption brought by wrong ways and deceitful ideas, which contradicted theirs. Therefore, there is only one method of attaining this position. Unfortunately, they must force all the divergent beliefs to follow the supposedly righteous path by erasing their cultures, there upon accommodating to a new religion against their will, only if they are to stay in puritan towns. But again there is nothing more than the puritan establishments and the unknown wilderness. Enforcing this new set of laws which apparently are very similar to those of their persecutors back in England, a stern religious devotion ought to be implemented. As a result truth will be erroneously appraised. Upon this institution ascends the masterpiece by Arthur Miller, The Crucible. In the marvelous pamphlet, the unavoidable religious austerity of the time is clearly depicted, as Miller is proving "an argument in favour of moral flexibility."(Miller Budick, 537) This religious misapprehension steers humanity in the town of Salem to an entire misperception of truth, as it wrongfully incriminates innocent human beings. The court and their heretic foolishness stubbornly proceed with these enforcing the false instead of the true.

In the first act of the play, the incident that occurred in the forest is introduced as well as the mysterious illness of Betty. A well known minister is immediately called upon this severe complication. His name is John Hale of Beverly and he has come to unravel this obscure matter. Hale strongly believes that "they cannot look to superstition in this."(Miller, 38) To him the Devil is accurate and his traces are easily identified. These implications show a blockade of Hale?s common sense due to his firm beliefs. He is yet to acquire any piece of evidence and he is already taking a strong position against any assumptions that Betty?s shock might have been caused by any sort of superstition. He firmly states that the Devil is involved in this scene. Mr. Hale is a pious individual for it is evidently seen that he associates just about anything that might contradict his theological wisdom with sinful atrocities. Hale is not necessarily the worst of scenarios presented by Arthur Miller. His religious perseverance transiently lures him away from his true judgement. However he is capable of regaining his common sense, later in the play, as he finally judges correctly the true from the false.
Later in the play, as the first hearings come to an end, Danforth is introduced. Danforth is the presiding judge in the witch trials. In early colonial times, the judge was also the highest ranked clergyman of the district or region. This clarification has been made for the sole purpose of showing how religion is closely related to justice during these trials. Danforth is a perfect example of austerity of any kind. To support the latter statement, Danforth likewise manifests that "there is a moving plot to topple Christ in this country!"(Miller, 98) By his reaction, a conclusion could be reached that he will definitely do anything in his power to stop this satanic conspiracy. Danforth is also convinced that any opposition or disturbance to the flow of these proceedings can be accounted as a deed of Satan. He is has reached a point where he has become fanatically devoted to what he thinks it is right. The concern is that this extreme absolutism and his rigid judgement has impaired him of the ability to analyze facts thoroughly. Therefore Danforth is unable to determine whether the facts themselves are sufficient enough to change his perspective and overturn his decisions. Therefore he has stalled at a point where truth lays somewhere