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The Power of Religion in the film The Crucible - Essay Example

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To put the film “The Crucible” in proper perspective, it is important to note that the film was actually inspired by an actual event that happened in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692…
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The Power of Religion in the film The Crucible
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The Power of Religion in the film The Crucible

Download file to see previous pages... According to the author of the film Arthur Miller, he lent credence to the accuracy of the historical and political context of the film by admitting that the characters were portrayed as accurately as possible as they were “drawn to the best of my ability in conformity with their known behavior” (Burns, 2010). Indeed the film accurately depicted the prevailing political and historical milieu of the time. During that time, Puritans from England settled in Massachusetts and their religious background was heavily reflected in the theme of the film. The character’s particular predisposition towards religion which became the catalyst of the prosecution and legal proceeding was also the highlighted. The subtleties of fear and anxiety during that time were also revealed. It has to be noted that during that time, Salem was in perpetual fear of Indian invasion which made the village susceptible to believe that they were being punished by God with their Puritan background. The detail of the trial, along with other circumstances in the film, was understandably altered to make the film more dramatic and be commercially attractive for public viewing. For example, the main protagonists, Abigail Williams, was actually 11 year old while John Proctor was actually 60 years old when the actual event happened (McGill, 1981). With regard to the proceeding of the trial, the film was able to portray how flawed the legal process of the time. The film was able to portray how frivolous evidences such as spectral evidence or evidence based on dreams and visions become admissible in court during that time (Linder, 2009). Testimonies based on hearsays were also considered. The sitting Chief Magistrate, William Stoughton was not even qualified as a Chief Justice because he was not even a lawyer but a theologian. As a result, the office which was supposed to dispense justice became an enforcer of religion. II. Reveal whether the film presents a realistic account of the legal process for the time; In 1692, witchcraft was considered a crime and anybody who is tried for the crime will be denied legal counsel. This was adequately portrayed in the movie. The obstinacy of the magistrates in dealing with anything that has something to do with the “devil” was also dramatically highlighted. The infirmities of the legal process of the “Salem Witchcraft Trial in 1692” were also realistically illustrated in the movie. The admission of spectral evidence in court was also highlighted in the film. Indictment and execution of the accused were also carried out with only accusation, gossips and hearsays as evidence. In general, the film was able to realistically portray how an extremist religious fervor can impair a legal process and turn it into a tragedy when taken into extreme. III. Reveal if the film presents a unique understanding of how law actually works/worked versus what the law on the books as it is/was; To illustrate that the film has a unique understanding how the law actually works in the specific setting of the film “The Crucible”, the law that makes witchcraft a crime actually existed in the books as early as 1641. The enforcement and prosecution were only made twice; first in 1688 when Martha Goodwin, a local teenager, exhibited a bizarre behavior after an argument with a laundress named Goode Glover (Anon., 2011). The second incident was in 1692 of which the film “The Crucible” was based upon. In this film, the power of the religion and the church on the legal system was underscored. It revealed how religion, in the name of faith and defeating the demon, can trample ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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