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How does fear motivate the main characters in The Crucible - Case Study Example

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This essay discusses that in the Crucible, fear plays a major role. Arthur Miller examines how fear is used silence the opposition and makes others testify falsely. In the play, those in power used fear to take control of their enemies…
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How does fear motivate the main characters in The Crucible
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The Crucible
In the Crucible, fear plays a major role. Arthur Miller examines how fear is used silence the opposition and makes others testify falsely. In the play, those in power used fear to take control of their enemies. John Proctor is an example of the characters that shows fear. He is under the judgment that Abigail will blemish his good name because of their affair. In addition, Abigail could ruin the life of John because of his carelessness, which his wife is fully aware. It is unlike John Proctor to be afraid of anyone because he usually is a pillar of strength and a well-known member of the community (Koehnle, p. 16). This makes his fear powerful as it is unlike him. He is afraid of Abigail ruining his name because of his deep pride. John is fully aware of the sins he committed and cannot easily forget about them. When Abigail lies to the town about seeing the devil and the presence of witchcraft in the town, John thinks she deserves hanging. John is a hero and despite what Abigail says, he is motivated to speak out and what he believes as much as the result is death. To fulfill his obligation, he pushes Abigail out of his life and openly tells her he loves his wife. He looks out for the truth from God because he knows and sees all. John strives for people to see the reality and to believe in what is true.
Abigail Williams spreads fear of witches in the town of Salem and ends up dominating the lives of people in the town. She has a love affair with John Proctor and wants his wife Elizabeth to leave him for her. In addition, she is responsible for the girls meeting in the woods. Abigail is motivated by the fear of being discovered dancing naked in the woods.
Once Parris discover her, she attempts to pretend her behavior since it will reveal her affair with Proctor if she confesses to cast a spell on Elizabeth. She goes ahead and lies to prevent witchcraft charges. She uses her power to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation by threatening the other girls if they refuse to join her in her plans (Bloom, p. 23). She does not hesitate to accuse the girls of witchcraft if she finds out that they are not loyal. Abigail comes up with a detailed plan on how she will eliminate Elizabeth. This includes starting her credibility with the court. She is fearless, goes ahead, and accuses the town clerk who is already predisposed for conviction by the society. This makes her gain more authority. Her plans eventually fail when she realizes she condemned proctor to hang. She portrays a cold indifference and flees Salem.
Elizabeth is a virtuous woman who is committed and true. She seems to be cold because the husband cheated on her. When she discovered on the husband cheating she went around town saying that the house girl may be tainted (Miller, p. 18). She fears losing her husband and that is why she lies in court about the affair between the husband and Abigail. She did this to protect the husband.
Work Cited
Bloom, Harold. Arthur Miller's The Crucible. New ed. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism,
2008. Print.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Koehnle, James. Designing the Scenery for The Crucible. Kent, Ohio: Kent State U, 2012. Print. Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts. New York, N.Y.: Penguin, 2003. Print. Read More
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