Tyranny suggests overbearing usage of absolute power held by a specific leader to implement obedience by force or hazards. Tyranny is plainly present in The Crucible in numerous characters, however particularly Danforth with his authority in the court and Abigail with the impact she acquires over the whole village, in particular the girls who participate in the witch trials with her. In Act Three Danforth informs Giles Corey and Francis Nurse that there are ‘seventy-two condemned to hang by [his] signature’.
Danforth has the most affect in the court, as he ultimately chooses which sentence everyone implicated of witchcraft will receive. He highlights the severe power he has in response to Corey and Nurse pertaining to court to protest against the accusations versus their better halves. It appears that by telling them how much power he has to manage individuals’s lives, he is trying to intimidate and subtly threaten the guys not to produce difficulties for him by opposing his decision to have Rebecca Nurse hanged and likely sentence Martha Corey to the very same fate.
It is in his interest to avoid individuals from discussing the possibility of the court being incorrect due to the fact that he is a really well-respected judge and his credibility is under threat if more individuals start to agree with Corey and Nurse. Danforth’s use of his position of his authority to secure his own interests is a clear example of tyranny in the play.
Judge Hathorne and Reverend Parris, although they might not be considered tyrants themselves, help Danforth to maintain his power since they understand that it will help to secure their reputations too as they have also been involved in the judgement of the people who have actually already been apprehended and sentenced to death. They do this by instantly trying to reject the males’s claims that ladies’ accusations are incorrect. Hathorne states of Corey and Nurse that ‘they must both be detained in contempt’ and when Proctor gets here Parris informs Danforth that ‘they have actually pertained to overthrow the court’.
They both respond in this manner prior to allowing the men to present their proof because as long as they are contradicting the court, they could potentially expose that the court has made a disastrous error in believing everything Abigail and the girls state. For That Reason Hathorne and Parris have some part in perpetuating Danforth’s tyranny by refusing to let anybody oppose him. Nevertheless, it might be said that the fault is not with Danforth or the other judges since whilst they do make it difficult for opposing arguments to be heard, they do so just because they have incorrectly relied on the women.
Abigail could be referred to as an autocrat due to her power over the other women involved in the trials and eventually her influence over the entire village. In Act Two Elizabeth states that ‘where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel’, which indicates that Abigail manages to manage everyone around her and becomes either appreciated or feared to the point where individuals hesitate to get in her way, possibly because they understand that if they offer her any reason to take issue with them, she can implicate them of witchcraft and more than likely have them hanged.
The audience likewise knows that Abigail has actually gained this power mainly by threatening the ladies who danced in the forest with her previous to the start of the play, if they recall Abigail informing Betty, Mercy and Mary in Act One that if they tell anyone about the illicit routines they performed in the forest she will ‘bring a pointy reckoning’ to them. Here she utilizes dangers to ensure that they will not expose her, which would result in her reputation being ruined and her uncle perhaps going as far as to disown her.
It would also rule out any opportunity of her being able to wed John Proctor, who she is still in love with since he ended their affair around 7 months previously. For that reason there is some proof that Abigail is the primary wrongdoer of tyranny in the play as she threatens the other ladies and, a little more cunningly, the other individuals residing in Salem, in order to perform her strategy to change Elizabeth as John Proctor’s other half and conceal the ‘witchcraft’ she carried out in the forest with Tituba.
In conclusion, tyranny is present throughout The Crucible, but it is debatable whether Danforth or Abigail is the main cause of this. Danforth has the ability to use his power to make decisions without being opposed in court and uses this to his benefit at times when he understands that his and the other judges’ reputations are at danger if the credibility of Abigail’s claims is questioned. Abigail could be considered a lot more oppressive, nevertheless, because she clearly threatens 3 of the other girls with death unless they keep her tricks and likewise holds power over the lives of all the villagers.