Circumstances definitely drastic circumstances. Society’s hysteria, greed,

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Circumstances cause adaptation. Drastic circumstances cause drastic adaptation. The Salem witch trials of 1692 were definitely drastic circumstances. Society’s hysteria, greed, and vengeance led to accusations that changed many lives, even changed some of those lives to death. Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend John Hale, and John Proctor were three characters that were altered during Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.


Elizabeth Proctor is a kind, intelligent, almost joyless woman that has evidently been ill in the past. Around her husband, she is virtually nervous and replies to his questions and statements quickly to please him. In their discussions, her suspicion of his honesty is brought to question, but she draws back hastily due to her still unwavering loyalty to her husband. When Rev. Hale visits the Proctor home to challenge their Christianity, she is defensive but clear in proving to Hale that she runs a Christian household. Later, when Cheever comes with a warrant to take her, Elizabeth is outraged and knows the reason she is being charged, Abigail! “The girl is murder! She must be ripped out of the world!” However, she calms and submits to go to the court and says “she will fear nothing.” The change takes place while in prison. Through the experience she is even more strong-willed and compassionate. At the end when she speaks with her husband, she shows love and is sorry she kept a cold house. “John, …no honest love could come to me…I never knew how I should say my love. It were a cold house I kept!” The transformation made her an even more positive woman.


Reverend John Hale’s metamorphosis was perhaps the most eminent. He is initially viewed as an arrogant, erudite minister that has all the answers. “He is nearing forty, a tight-skinned, eagar-eyed, intellectual.” He is proud that he has been called as an expert on witches. He quickly finds, however, that his books are not as equipped as he thought. One good quality of Rev. Hale at the beginning is that he is an outsider. He has no bonds of friendship or personal disputes with any townspeople. He does, though cling to and defend the court. To get to know the people better, especially the ones mentioned in court, he interrogates them to bring out the truth. The scene when Cheever takes Elizabeth is where Hale starts to pivot from darkness to light. It is not until Act III, though; he realizes the dishonesty of the ‘precious’ girls. Reverend Hale “denounced the proceedings, and quit the court.” He knew he was wrong and that he signed innocent people’s death warrants. He tries to save the accused by urging them to confess, but it is too late. His change might have been lucrative if he would have been swifter.

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The protagonist, some what of a tragic hero, is John Proctor. Proctor is “a farmer in his middle thirties” who is ” powerful of body, even-tempered, and not easily led.” Although he isn’t rich, he still demands, and is shown, respect in Salem. Often, Proctor stays home Sunday to aid his wife and to avoid Abigail Williams. His relationship with Abigail is one of shame and guilt. Abigail is still ” in love,” but says ” I will cut off my hand before I reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind.” Proctor’s change was his self-perception. Introspectively, he views himself as a fraud. Ever since his affair with Abigail he knows he is a sinner. He will not let himself be forgiven, even from God. At the end of the play, he agrees to confess to being ” the Devil’s man.” Proctor states ” I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man.” Proctor does not think he is good enough to die with Rebecca Nurse and the other “saints.” While he is signing the confession, however, he realizes his mistake. He does not want his name ruined, like a blacklisted Communist. He finally comes to the conclusion that he is a good man. He decides to take back the confession and dies triumphantly. His change was from an unforgiven fraud to an unashamed, fortitude.


Though in nature, adaptation usually leads to survival, this is not the case in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. However, truly living was found in dying for the beliefs of the individuals. These changes of character in the characters can be viewed as positive in the conclusion.

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The him was to make a ezd against

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The witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts in the early
sixteen hundreds was a time of uneasiness and suspicion.
Anyone could easily turn in his or her neighbor on the
ground of witchcraft. Someone could merely say their
neighbor’s spirit had attacked them during the night, which
no man can prove. Nevertheless, as a God-fearing community,
they could not think of denying the evidence, because to
deny the existence of Evil is to deny the existence of
Goodness, which is God.
The most important scene in the play was act two, scene
three, where John Proctor is able to talk with his wife,
Elizabeth, one last time. He decides that he will “confess”
to the crime of witchcraft, thereby avoiding being hung.
However, to accept what he said, the judge also requires him
to sign a written confession which states that he confessed
to the crime of witchcraft. Judge Danforth would post it on
the church door, to use Proctor as an example to get other
people to confess. That upset Proctor greatly, because
people would look down on him with disdain, and it would
blacken forever his name.
What was most important to him was to make a ezd
against the insanity of the town, for himself and for God,
and using that as a last resort to make people aware of what
was happening. This last ezd for righteousness is an
example of proctor’s great character and rationale.


Arthur Miller wrote his play, The Crucible, a story about
the Salem witch trials, and the panic resulting from it, as
an allegory to show people the insanity of the McCarthy
hearings. He wrote it as an allegory so that, if tried by
McCarthy, he could say, “it’s just a play about the witch
trials in Salem. How do you get this communist idea from
it?” The story illustrates how people react to mass
hysteria, created by a person or group of people desiring
fame, as people did during the McCarthy hearings.


Arthur Miller, acting as a great visionary, warned
us that if we did not become aware of history repeating
itself, our society would be in danger. At the same time,
he had to do this in a matter that would not get him
arrested, hence the witch-trial mechanization.

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Categories: History

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