John Proctor and the Salem Witch Trials in The Crucible
The writing happens in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 during the Salem witch trials. The play is a fictionalized version of the trials and tells the story of a group of young Salem ladies, Who were desperate enough to try “Dark Magic” and get caught to get out of trouble they start to accuse other villagers of witchcraft. The accusations and succeeding trials push the village into a hysteria, which ends up with the arrest of two hundred villagers and the deaths of nineteen.
The play was created by the dramatist, Arthur Morgan who was wrongfully accused of communism and unpatriotic activities throughout McCarthyism within the ’50s. Miller wrote the play as an allegory, revealing the political and ethical parallels between the Salem witch trials based on the McCarthy trials of his own time. Given the sensitivity of the accusation, a special court is supported to analyze the accusations of Sorcery. Judges are sent from the capital of Massachusetts to help the residents of village Salem.
throughout the trials, the women scream and faint whenever one among the supposed witches takes the stand.
More than 100 of Salem’s villagers are found to be witches. Even, Elizabeth Proctor proclaims her innocence to her husband, John. Her chambermaid, Abigail, who was once a worker associated with her family, was fired when Elizabeth discovered that John and Abigail were having an affair. Realizing that Abigail has incited this witch hunt to focus on her enemies, John fights to save as many people as he can alongside his wife.
He admits his infidelity, solely to expose Abigail for lying about devil worship once Abigail denies the affair. John and Elizabeth are guilty of communing with the devil. The pregnant Elizabeth is spared, however, John is hanged. The antagonist within the story is broadly speaking the city of Salem, whose residents briefly lose their sense of community to fear and hate each other. however, the hysteria of the witch hunts exposes long-simmering resentments and grievances. The play’s climax comes once Proctor finally confesses the affair with Abigail, finally cathartic the guilt of his sins and sacrificing his honor to save his love. His sacrifice is in vain as Elizabeth, seeking to shield her husband’s name, refuses to verify his story, and the court accuses the Proctors of witchery.
The falling action of the play happens 3 months later, once Elizabeth forgives her husband for being unfaithful, and says she doesn’t want him to die. Realizing that ideas like honesty, honor, and truth have lost all there meaning within the town’s fearful, paranoid, and vengeance-seeking atmosphere, Proctor agrees to confess, even supposing he was aware and started this epidemic saying it is called “it is evil.” once Danforth insists on recording and posting it outside the church confession “for the sake of the village,” however, Proctor realizes that the confession is not merely a formality however a political scapegoat for the court to validate the witch hunt and justify the executions. His confession, then, is in direct opposition to his need to finish the hysteria in Salem. While a verbal confession could have a relationship to the reality, his name on paper can offer credence to the falsehoods being perpetuated by the trial, the names of his friends have died denying the atrocities against them. The play ends with Proctor and Rebekah Nurse, has conjointly refused to confess, being escorted to their execution.