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The Characters of the “Devil” in The Crucible


The Crucible- Essay Prompt 3

Priyanka Kapur Ms. Ragland H. American Lit 24 September 2012 Abigail and Reverend Hale: The Characters of the “Devil” During the time of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, there were individuals with manipulative and equivocal personalities who considerably altered the aspects of Massachusetts. Consequently, turmoil triggered an intractable problem in the federal government of Salem, and its principles ruined. Hence, in Miller’s The Crucible, Miller shows, through fictional characters, how and who the Salem Witch Trials impacted and how or by whom it was caused.

Taking advantage of the mass hysteria in Salem, Abigail Williams and Reverend John Hale heavily affected the Salem Witch Trials; Abigail started the witchcraft reports and was accountable for the hangings of numerous individuals and Reverend Hale, who thought of himself as an experienced individual of witchcraft, and towards completion was ravaged with the revelation that he had in truth, part-taken in the “Devil’s work.” * In relation to The Crucible by Miller, Abigail supports the 3rd meaning of crucible since of her manipulative and conniving personality and how she feeds upon the fear of Salem’s people to develop mass hysteria.

For instance, Abigail’s relationship with Elizabeth is hostile and bitter and she highly dislikes Elizabeth with an intense passion since of Elizabeth’s marital relationship with John Proctor. She is a liar when she says, “Why, I make sure it is, sir. There is no blush about my name (Miller. I. 11),” in response to the report of her affair with John Proctor. Abigail gets Mary Warren to plant a poppet in Elizabeth’s house so that there is engaging proof against Elizabeth, and this reveals that Abigail is really manipulative and aggressive.

Abigail reveals her computing character when she says, “She dislikes me, Uncle, she must, for I would not be her servant. It’s a bitter female, a lying, cold, sniveling lady, and I will not work for such a lady (Miller. I. 11).” By saying this, she puts the blame on Elizabeth Proctor due to the fact that Elizabeth had tossed her out of the house when she discovered the affair in between Abigail and John Proctor. In addition, Abigail utilizes threats in order to get others to do the incorrect thing. Her devastating and unstable character is reflected when she states, “Let either of you … you have never seen the sun go down (Miller. I. 19)! The method she states this quote coerces the ladies into following Abigail’s lead and her directions. Her enormous character is once again shown when Mary, on the insistence of John Proctor, attempts to inform the court that her good friends were “sporting” in the woods. At that point, Abigail turns the tables on Mary by convincing the court that Mary’s spirit was out to get Abigail and the others. “Watch out! She’s coming down (Miller. 3. 1211)!” * As a result, Abigail likewise supports the 1st definition of crucible since she builds upon the fear of others, which triggers the “fire” to spread around the town of Salem.

People who were treated in high regard (Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Martha) were wrongly accused for practicing witchcraft. This enabled people like Putnam and Parris to benefit from the mass hysteria in Salem and pursue their own interests of greed and vengeance. This led to the hangings of innocent people. In Act III, Proctor, in order to conserve his other half’s life, admits to having an affair with Abigail, which ends in Proctor losing his life. This reflects how she plays upon the feelings of Salem’s individuals to her benefit.

On the other hand, Reverend undergoes an extreme test on his individual viewpoint about his capability to identify witchcraft in others. His high opinion of himself is reflected in, “They must be; they are weighted with authority (Miller. III. 34).” In the beginning of the story, Reverend John Hale is not exactly sure about the innocence of the Proctors and continues to pursue practice of witchcraft amongst individuals in Salem. Nevertheless, towards completion of the book, he chooses to attempt and save Proctor’s life by persuading Elizabeth Proctor in persuading him to plead guilty so that he would not be hanged.

He supports this by stating, “What revenue him to bleed? Shall the dust applaud him? Shall the worms declare his truth (Miller. IV. 207) [Reverend John Hale in the Crucible]” In Act 2, Hale concerns Elizabeth Proctor on her religious beliefs. This is shown when she says, “I can not think the Devil … I do not believe it (Miller. II. 1174).” In his questioning of John Proctor’s understanding of the Ten Rules, John Proctor stopped working to raise the Tenth Rule of infidelity.

Hale continues to ask Proctor questions and urges him to baptize his 3rd child by saying,” God keep you both [Elizabeth and John], let the third child be baptized (Miller. III. 1174).” In act IV, Hale’s last effort to wash some of the blood off his hands stops working. He tells Danforth, “You should pardon them. They will not budge (Miller. IV. 122).” In spite of his early interest about being a scholar in the detection of witchcraft, he winds up defending Proctor and thinking that Abigail was a scams.

Towards the end, he is troubled with worry that he had participated in the executions of innocent individuals, therefore doing “Devil’s work (Grade Saver).” * * Abigail and Reverend Hale are 2 of the vibrant characters in The Crucible. They both have specific strengths (the power of persuasion, bravery, and imagination), and weaknesses (worry, silence, anger, control, vengeance), which considerably influenced the results of the Salem witchcraft trials. Abigail’s personality originates from the reality that she was a victim of past trauma; an orphan who saw her moms and dads beaten to death by Indians.

On the other hand, Reverend Hale was a scholar from Beverly who came to examine supernatural causes for Betty Parris’ health problems and stays back to examine reports about witchcraft. He leaves Salem, disappointed that in reality, he had done the “Devil’s work” by sending out innocent people to their death (Grade Saver). Functions Cited Miller. The Crucible. London: Penguin Books, 1953. Print. 22 Sep. 2012. Shmoop Editorial Group. “Reverend John Hale in The Crucible” Shmoop. com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 22 Sep. 2012. * “GradeSaver. “. N. p., n. d. Web. 23 Sep 2012. <

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