The Crucible Character Essay
Mahmoud Shreidi Manthei English 3 October 25, 2012 The Crucible: Moral Integrity & & Human being Dignity Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past habits. ~ Logan Pearsall Smith “The Crucible” a 1952 play written by Arthur Miller is an allegory of McCarthyism. The play itself is a drama of the Salem Witch Trials which occurred in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. In Miller’s work of art we satisfy a wide range of characters, village individuals, ordained ministers, judges, and farmers. We have the major characters, John Proctor, Rev.
Hale, Rev. Parris, Abigail Williams, and Elizabeth Proctor. Arthur Miller’s 1952 drama The Crucible shows that, moral stability and human dignity deserve sacrifice. The clearest representations of a characters sacrifices for the conservation of their own moral and human dignity can be seen by the actions of three key characters; John Proctor’s sacrifice of his reputation and ultimately his life to do the ideal thing, Giles’s brute force and refusal to save his own life by confessing a lie, and Rebecca Nurse’s will to adhere to her ethical believes to her grave.
Reputation, a male’s image and how he is seen by those around him affects his whole life, some can state that a male’s track record is their most prized position if it is great, however can be a curse if bad. For Proctor to compromise his track record, and name in the village to save his spouse, and stop the courts trials is a really generous act and protects ones stability due to the fact that they are making a big sacrifice to do the ideal thing. “She thinks to dance with me on my better half’s tomb! And well she might, for I have thought about her softly.
God help me, I lusted, and there is a pledge in such sweat. But it is a slut’s vengeance.”– (John Proctor 116) this public confession of John’s affair with Abigail was suggested to expose Abigail’s covert motive for the accusation of Elizabeth. Although this confession destroys John’s credibility he admits not just to do the right thing by trying to end the court from proceeding with the trials, but also to save his better half and admit what has actually been eating away at him. This selfless act preserves his human self-respect since he is making an individual sacrifice to stop what he knows is rong, although he does not have to. Straight after admitting to infidelity in the court, Elizabeth is brought in and inquired about her spouse’s confession, she demy’s it, and John is condemned to be hanged unless he admits to dealing with the devil. In the beginning he stays quiet like the others, however upon knowing of his other half’s pregnancy he wishes to keep his life and confesses a lie. When Danforth wants to pin his name on the front of the church, Proctor is furious. “Due to the fact that it is my name! Because I can not have another in my life!
Due to the fact that I lie and sign myself to lies! Since I am bit worth the dust on the feet of them that hang!”– (John 150) upon this cry of johns soul, he tears the confession which would have saved his life; he compromises his own life to preserve his name, track record and ethical integrity. John Proctor was not the only one to sacrifice their life to protect their stability. Corey Giles’s last look was his condemnation in the court. Elizabeth informs her spouse of Corey’s final minutes, and his final words. “He were not hanged.
He would not respond to aye or nay to his indictment; for if he rejected the charge they ‘d hang him certainly, and auction out his home. So he stand mute and passed away Christian under the law. And so his boys will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be condemned a wizard without he respond to the indictment, aye or nay.” (Elizabeth 141-142) Giles made a decision to stay quiet, and not confess a lie to conserve his life, for two reasons, one since without a confession he can not be branded as a wizard, and two so his residential or commercial property will not be seized by the court.
This sacrifice of one’s life for what they see as the greater good is a clear example of ones preservation of their self-respect and moral stability. Another example of his sacrifice is the terrific discomfort he went through for his silence, and his strength to remain quiet, his last words only being “more weight”, describing the giant stones being laid upon his chest in order to press him to admit witchcraft.
Giles’s was an old frail male, with a strong will and integrity, he adhered to what he thought till he passed away, however as well as john, he was not the only one to sacrifice their life. Rebecca Nurse was a godly female, and had really strong moral beliefs which she did not break, even to save her life, when faced and pushed to admit a lie she addresses. “Why it is a lie, it is a lie; how may I damn myself? I can not, I can not. (Rebecca 147) Rebecca declines to confess a lie, because it was against her beliefs, she rejects to make a confession which would damn herself, so her sacrifice was a preservation of her moral integrity, because she stuck to her beliefs even to the tomb. All three of these characters sacrificed their life’s for the preservation of their human dignity and ethical stability, they had different factors, however at the base of all of it, they would have rather passed away then break their beliefs and morals. They maintained their integrity, and believed their actions deserved the sacrifice.