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Describe the causes, events, and consequences of the Salem Witch Trials - Essay Example

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The Salem Witch Trials Your Name here Date Here When people think of the Salem Witch Trials they might imagine a time of green-faced hags, cackling, while flying on broomsticks, tormenting villagers, and casting spells on innocent people…
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Describe the causes, events, and consequences of the Salem Witch Trials
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Describe the causes, events, and consequences of the Salem Witch Trials

Download file to see previous pages... In truth the Salem witch trials involved accusations of witchcraft, which is essentially perceived as devil worship, by people against their neighbors, family members, and friends. There were no witches in Salem Massachusetts casting spells or harming people. In fact, in took very little to earn an accusation as a witch, but surviving such an accusation is a whole other story. The Salem Witch Trials represent the power of fear and false accusations that can consume an entire community until it turned itself inside out. The era of the Salem Witch Trials is a time period that would have been rather frightening to be living in. Salem Massachusetts in the late 1600s had been through a great deal of hardship. There was rampant disease, poor harvests, and a number of Indian attacks that was making people fearful and on edge all of the time. With all of this unpleasantness the atmosphere was ripe for some kind of violent outburst in response. It all began in 1692 in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris. Whose daughter had begun having seizures or spasms, suffering delusions, and had fallen in to a strange trance-like state. It was the doctor that examined her that brought him the side effects of witchcraft as a cause. He suggested that Betty Parris was either a practitioner of the dark craft or a victim of it.1 All of the girls who were companions of Betty, Mary Warren and Abigail Williams, admitted that they had danced and carried on in the woods under the encouragement of Tituba, the Parris’s foreign servant. Soon enough all of the girls, including Tituba are accused of witchcraft; but to save themselves they confess and ask forgiveness. They begin behaving as if other witches and the devil, himself, were attempting to punish them and torment them because they no longer wished to serve the devil. Soon enough this group of girls began naming names of, mostly woman in the community who may be witches. The Courts were established to try those accused. From here it is important to mention that most people associate the events in the story of the Salem Witch Trials through the play the “The Crucible, “by Arthur Miller. However, his work changed certain elements for dramatic effect that strayed from the true history a bit. For example, Miller portrays Tituba as more of a slave of African descent. In truth, Tituba was an Indian from the island of Barbados. Another major plot in the “The Crucible” is the love affair between Abigail Williams and John Proctor, a respected citizen of Salem. It is Proctor’s spurning of Abigail’s attention that caused her to turn on him and accuse his wife of witchcraft. However, in reality, Abigail Williams was only 12 years old; there is no verifiable historical proof that there was any relationship at all between Abigail and John Proctor. This as part of the cause of the trials is only an invention of the theatre.2 However, there are 4 specific reasons that can be attributed to the cause of the Salem Witch Trials. “Religious hysteria” is one of these theories. The Puritans were a very devout sect, who believed fully that both God and the Devil can play interactive roles in the lives of mortal men. The idea that witchcraft and devil worship was rampant in their town would have been terrifying for many of the residents. Another theory suggests that it may have begun with a legitimate illness, but not one caused by the Devil. Rye poisoning was a possible culprit. The consumption of it acts like LSD on the system and could produce ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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