Argument Essay on “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller

Robert Maynard, an American journalist, once said that the dignity of man is an ideal worth fighting for and worth dying for. In the play “The Crucible,” the price of dignity is passed through a litmus test by John Proctor. He has to decide between his life and his dignity. In the end, John chooses his dignity over his life, a position I support, and give reasons for doing so in this paper. What Proctor gained from his decision to recant his false confession was worth the price of his life.

Proctor is a decent bloke, genuine, straight, and flat, but he has a significant drawback: his love for Abigail led to their infidelity, and Abigail’s hatred of his wife, Elizabeth, launched the witch craze. When Danforth demands writing and publicizing the admission, John recognizes that the statement is more than a technicality; it is also a possible chance for the judge to confirm the witch hunt and sanction the deaths. Thus, his admittance runs counter to his aim to end the town’s panic. “You’ve worked your spell now, and I believe I see a ray of decency in John Proctor. It’s not sufficient to make a banner out of, but it’s white enough to keep such dogs away” (Miller 105). As he qualifies his decision to recant his confession, Proctor adds this. While an oral admission may have no link to reality, putting his signature on record will lend legitimacy to the prosecution’s lies, staining the reputations of his companions who have perished in denial of the accusations leveled against them.

Proctor’s refusal to give up his dignity implies that he believes that such fidelity will lead him to eternity. He is absolved of his previous transgressions and goes to execution. “Because it’s my name!” says John, “Because I don’t have room in my life for another! Because I am not worth the dust on the hangers’ feet! I’ve given you my heart; leave my name!” (Miller 143). “He hath his goodness now,” Elizabeth remarks at the close of the play, in response to Hale’s appeal that she persuade John to admit openly. “Please, God forbid I take it from him!” (Miller 116). This phrase argues that, instead of being remembered for accepting a false confession against his neighborhood, he recognizes that his reputation will be renowned for standing firm, even at the expense of his life. Elizabeth does not push him to rethink because she comprehends the sacrifice he is undertaking for both the community and their household.

As the play concludes, Proctor achieves martyrdom as he gives up his life, having refused to have put the false confession in writing. He ensures that the lives of his neighbors are not lost in vain and gives the town a chance to recover from all the drama and chaos caused by the witchcraft allegations. Living for him by lying to the court would have been untenable, therefore demeriting the claim that decanting the false confession and being hanged was not worth the price of his life. “How may I live without my name (Miller 153)?” John contemplates himself as useless, equating it to death, if he abandons all of his principles to avoid execution.

In conclusion, Proctor loses his life and keeps his dignity, his decision well documented in the town’s history books and one I firmly concur with. It is important to note that there are issues or scenarios in life that transcend the importance of one man and, in that measure, their existence. The preservation of this life in this instance would have spelled doom for the town and probably cost more lives than the one lost by Proctor deciding to stand for the truth.

Miller, Arthur.  The Crucible . 1953. New York, Penguin Books, 2003.

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The Crucible - Free Essay Samples And Topic Ideas

The Crucible is a dramatic work by Arthur Miller that explores the hysteria and injustices of the Salem witch trials. Essays on this topic could delve into the various thematic elements of the play, its historical accuracy, and its critique of McCarthyism. Furthermore, discussions could extend to the character analysis, the play’s enduring relevance, and its place within the broader context of American literature and historical drama. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to The Crucible you can find in Papersowl database. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

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Essay About The Crucible Have your morals and values ever changed after you went through a tough situation? Character development is defined as the collective observable changes in an individual’s defining characteristics over the course of a narrative. Characters in a play, book, or even a TV show are faced with tough situations that are hard to overcome. Many times, these tough situations change the character’s perspective on life. In the play, The Crucible, John Proctor faced many challenges that ultimately altered his view on life. In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, John Proctor undergoes several changes as he grapples with personal and moral dilemmas. John Proctor develops over time from immoral to remorseful. In the beginning of the play, John Proctor is described as immoral. He committed adultery in a very strict religious community. John is also very stubborn when it comes to religion. This accusation can be explained with the quote, “I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation” (Miller, 16) which proves that Proctor did not think very highly of Reverend Parris’ sermons. He would not go to church because he felt as though God did not exist anymore and that Reverend Parris was not a very religious man, so he should not be listening to him. John Proctor even said, “I say, I say, God is dead!” (Miller, 71) which tells us that he does not think God exists anymore. This was very frowned upon in the Salem village. By the end of the play, John Proctor can be seen as a remorseful man. He feels very bad about cheating on his wife with Abigail. Proctor even begins to change his views and opinions about Abigail. Proctor says, “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see”(Miller, 66). He begins to see Abigail for who she really is. Proctor has displayed the virtue of courage by the end of the play because he is sticking up for what he believes in and he is not being a hypocrite anymore. Proctor’s decision to finally tell the truth about everything resolves his conflicts because he is not holding anything in anymore. In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, John Proctor undergoes several changes as he grapples with personal and moral dilemmas. John Proctor develops over time from immoral to remorseful. John realized that owning up to his mistakes was the best thing that he could do for himself. This was a major theme for the play, The Crucible. Arthur Miller wants readers to realize and understand that everyone makes mistakes no matter how good of a person they may be. The most important thing is that you own up to your mistakes and that you will actually learn from them.

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Essays on The Crucible


Salem Witch Trials Essay

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller

The Crucible talks about witchcraft trials that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts around 1692. The play discusses a story about three girls named Betty and Abigail who were seen by Reverend Parris dancing in the woods with Tituba. Later, Betty became sick and unconscious. The news about witchcraft spreads, and many people gathered in Parris’s home where Reverend Hale; an expert in witchcraft, is invited to determine whether the illnesses in Salem was caused by witchcraft. He realizes that the girls […]

‘The Crucible’ by Artur Miller

For this year’s Celebration of the Arts, the ‘Trinity Theatre Players’ will be performing Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, but with a significant twist. They will be presenting a series of deleted scenes that could have been (but weren’t) included in the actual text. Your task is to write the SCRIPT of a deleted scene for the play. It should occur at a specific point within the play and develop the storyline further. It may provide insight into the life of […]

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The Crucible (Character Analysis)

Mass hysteria is a social phenomenon where fear spreads uncontrollably throughout a population. The main aspect of the plot of Aruthur Miller’s The Crucible is that neighbors suddenly turn against each other and accuse one another of participating in witchcraft and worshipping the Devil. As accusations of witchcraft progressingly occur, a thematic significance of hysteria quickly builds throughout the town of Salem. Frenzy becomes larger than the influences of rational voices in the community, making it insurmountable, overriding logic and […]

Is the Crucible Still Relevant

A witch hunt is historically defined as a search for and subsequent persecution of a supposed witch. In The Crucible the witch hunt is persisted by the main character, Abagail, in order for her to get revenge on those who have previously wronged her. The modern witch hunt that will be compared to The Crucible is the persecution of Muslims after 9/11. After 9/11 Muslims were exploited and faced extreme cases of inequality. There is a commonly shared belief that […]

The Crucible Compared to the Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter is comparable to Arthur Millers play The Crucible because they are in the Puritan New England era during the 17th and 18th century and follow the same laws and harsh punishments for that time. The Scarlet Letter is a story of Hester Prynne, a woman dealing with the Puritan punishment given to her, where The Crucible follows rumors about witchery cases as they spread throughout the small town. Hester Prynne, the main character of The […]

Revenge in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller

Revenge In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, revenge plays a significant role in making the Putnam believe Rebecca Nurse is guilty of witchcraft, and of making other people accuse each other of witchcraft. In this story revenge was huge in more than one part of the story revenge took place. In the following paragraphs, I will be talking about three situations where revenge was used. The first out of the three examples I will be explaining about revenge was when […]

A Play the Crucible by Arthur Miller

The play The Crucible written by Arthur Miller is set in a Puritan society; a society which is a theocracy, where priests and church figures have all the power. The setting of the play takes place in the village of Salem. This village is very strict when it comes to religion. Everyone was in each other’s business trying to find weaknesses of others in order to make themselves look and feel purer. This society of division and paranoia is what […]

Characters in the Crucible

Williams I am the rightful partner to John Proctor. Elizabeth does not love him like I do. I will kill her for John. She shame my name in this town and she makes everyone think bad of me. I will show her. John is mine. He does not see the righteous in me. I am his and he is mine. My Uncle doesnt love me either. He only cares of his name in this town. He doesnt even care of […]

Analysis of the Crucible by Arthur Miller

The communist witch hunt was a time of unjust persecution and false accusations, with many similarities with a previous event; the Salem witch hunt. The Salem witch hunt, though on a much smaller scale, was still devastating to their economy, and hurt them for a long time after that. There are many similarities between the communist witch hunt and the Salem witch hunt, but there are also many differences. The biggest one that comes to mind, would be how much […]

How is the Crucible an Allegory for Mccarthyism

In his exemplary dramatization The Crucible, Arthur Miller accounts the repulsiveness of the Salem witch preliminaries, a humiliating scene of pilgrim America’s set of experiences. From the start perusing, one may just view Miller’s work as a distinctive record of the awfulness of religious government in America’s late seventeenth century. Be that as it may, with a comprehension of the period wherein Miller wrote his work, one can undoubtedly see the witch preliminaries of The Crucible as a legitimate moral […]

American History and the Crucible by Arthur Miller

During the Red Scare of the 1940r’s – 1950r’s, hundreds of innocent Americans were accused of being either communists or communist sympathizers. Much like in The Crucible by Arthur Miller, people of these eras were accused and convicted with little or no evidence at all. During the time of the Red Scare this was called McCarthyism. It was named after Joseph McCarthy, who was a Wisconsin Senator, after he accused countless government officials of being communist spies. These accused politicians […]

John Hale in the Crucible

How is it possible for one to be so benevolent, yet still stimulate so much controversy and even death? In Arthur Millerr’s The Crucible, we see Reverend Haler’s naivety, altruism, and sincere nature that leads him to have too much faith in humanity and cause many issues throughout the play. At the beginning of The Crucible, we can see Reverend Haler’s altruistic nature, and his desire to help people, a hidden characteristic because of the manipulation he falls for and […]

Abigail Williams from ‘The Crucible’ (Character Analysis)

Sometimes people think they know someone but not everyone is as honest as you think. Abigail Williams from The Crucible tricked everyone into believing her lies up until the end. In Miller’s play, The Crucible Abigail is seen as a selfish person who only cares about herself and a big liar. Abigail Williams only really cares about what happens to herself and what she wants, she is pretty inconsiderate of how her action may affect other people’s lives. For example, […]

Treatment of Women Throughout the Crucible

The portray of women is shown quite differently depending on who you are, who people think you are, and how they react to a male-dominated society, this division is shown quite clearly throughout the crucible. Women are portrayed in three different ways in the crucible. Some are shown as good, moral, upright people, while others are quite completely the opposite. Miller does this in order to show the balance between disparate people, which allows it to make the story more […]

About Abigailr’s Behavior in the Crucible

Although Abigail is somewhat responsible for her actions and the deaths of many innocent Puritans, there are several outside factors that influenced her behavior. One outside factor that influenced Abigailr’s behavior was her relationship with John Proctor. Abigail thought that John Proctor was in love with her even though he wasnt. In Act II, Elizabeth tells John, There is a promise made in any bed spoke or silent, a promise is surely made (Elizabeth 64). Elizabeth is trying to tell […]

Examples of Hysteria in the Crucible

Whenever hysteria occurs, it appears to tolerate the misinterpretation of reality, unspeakable actions, and baseless allegations causing societies to break. In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller the author of the book depicts this throughout the story. The Crucible takes place in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692. There are several key settings throughout the story. The entire book is about how an insignificant group of girls creates mass hysteria in a small town, and how […]

Lies and Redemption in “The Crucible”

The story of The Crucible is very interesting in many ways. It expands on the idea that a single lie can cause people to throw away their morales for their own personal benefit.Throughout the story one of the key characters to show this is John Proctor. John evolves through the story by using lies as a way to hide his mistakes, but shows guna nature by attempting to change his common ways. In the history of mankind lies have been […]

Criticle Lense, the Crucible and the Lottery

The quote, “In literature as in life, human beings may find themselves in conflict when they live in a society that outwardly seems civilized and yet practices prejudice and injustice within,” means that even when a civilization is viewed as good or peaceful, many people in the society are treated unfairly. This theme is often expressed in works of literature. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery” both show how the quote is true. The Crucible […]

Haler’s Statement about Life in the Crucible

Written by Arthur Miller in 1953, The Crucible is one of the most well-known plays in American history. The author depicts a series of dreadful and scary witch-hunts and trials in Salem, Massachusetts during the seventeenth century, in which numerous innocent people were ruthlessly prosecuted. The play is regarded as a literary reflection of the hysteria about communism sweeping through America in the 1950s. In Act IV of the play, Hale gives a speech about life and death, stating that […]

Who is to Blame in “The Crucible”?

There were horrific events described by the author. In this essay I will explain who is to blame.  In the play the Crucible many people that lived in Salem in 1692 were convicted of witch craft and were killed. One of the main characters to blame was Abigale Williams she was a teenager in the sixteen hundred. That was obsessed with a man named John Proctor in order to get Proctor she resorted to witch craft with her uncles Barbados […]

John Proctor in the Crucible is the Tragic Hero

A tragic hero can be deemed as virtuous character who makes a lapse of judgment, in turn, bringing on their own demise. Throughout The Crucible, the author depicts John Proctor as a tragic hero who has many vices including lust, lies, and adultery. In fear of being ousted, Proctor, who’s reputation is highly respected, attempts to suppress his affair with the family’s nanny, Abigail. However, this triggers a series events throughout Salem, where allegations ultimately lead to the tragedy of John Proctor’s life. […]

Religion and Beliefs in Political System in the Crucible

Our founding fathers of our nation decided that this nation was not going to be governed by belief and faith. They actually decided that they would separate the church from the state because that way they would rule from actual facts and not belief and religion. The person that came up with this idea was Thomas jefferson. Also the first amendment of the constitution of the united states says that congress shouldnt make any law according to religion. The separation […]

John Proctor Struggles against Abigail Williams in the Crucible

Stories are such fascinating subjects, as they seem to create worlds in a completely new universe or be set in the past so long ago that people can no longer remember it. In every story, there is protagonists and antagonists. The antagonist always go against the protagonist, bringing the conflict in the story. Along with the fact of bringing conflict into the story, he or she also has a highly significant role in the development of the protagonist. The story […]

The Storyline of the Crucible

In this story called the Crucible is offered in a book and a movie.In each version there are similarities and differences. I have discovered some along the way which I will be talking about . Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” the book uses the Salem witch trials to explore what happens when someone accuses someone else of treason or corruption without having any proof. The fist similarity between the book and movie is that it shows Reverend Parris greed for money. […]

The Puritan Beliefs in the Crucible

In every society, the progression of one group of people directly leads to the subjugation of another. In the Puritan society as depicted in The Crucible by Arthur Miller, women were minorities who were weaker and deceptive in nature. This lead to the conceived idea that they were often associated with evil things such as witchcraft as well as less respected within the Puritan society. For example, Abigail saw confessing as a sign of relief. To solve her moral problem, […]

The Topic of Worry in the Crucible

Worry for notoriety is a topic that poses a potential threat over a large portion of the occasions in The Crucible. In spite of the fact that activities are regularly propelled by dread and wants for power and retribution, they are likewise propped up by fundamental stresses over how lost notoriety will contrarily influence characters’ lives. John’s anxiety for his notoriety is solid all through the play, and his dithering to uncover Abigail’s actual nature is his very own result […]

The Theme of Discrimination in the Crucible

Persecution is considered to be an inhumane act of torturing and killing people. Persecution is most commonly committed on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, and different belief systems. Discrimination is commonly shown on a basis of fear of change or someone being different in some way. Reputations are often tarnished upon opinions of others. The Theme of persecution is represented in the film The Crucible because the women are accused of witchcraft. Many of the women in […]

The Character John Proctor in ‘The Crucible’

To begin, Abigail was one of the causes of John Proctor’s death. First, Abigail started it all and continued it. “I never called him! Tituba, Tituba…” (Miller 42). “She made me do it! She made Betty do it!” (Miller 43). This is about how Abigail started the entire thing and who she starts blaming. She accuses Tituba for starting it. For making her drinking blood and for making betty drink blood also. Secondly, Abigail was obsessed with John Proctor and […]

About the Witch Trials in the Crucible

How do the witch trials empower individuals who were previously powerless? The witch trials gave people power over people that they wouldn’t have had any legal or ethical way. The witch trails propped up flawed, generally not good people, and that’s who was accusing people most of the time. In this essay we will look at people who the witch trails elevated to previously intangible heights of power, popularity, and respect and to finish I will talk about some examples […]

Analysis of the Act II the Crucible

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. God, deemed to be the author of all truth, has several acolytes who are obligated to honor that truth. To fulfill this commandment is not to lie ” intentionally deceive another by speaking a falsehood. However, though under a rigid theocracy, the people of Salem lie in order to save themselves from death by a noose. Evident throughout both Act 1 as well as Act 11, each character portrays a false […]

Introduction for The Crucible

Research paper on the crucible, thesis statement for the crucible.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play about how people can be easily manipulated by fear. I believe that Abigail Williams is to blame for the horrible events that happened at Salem. But the whole blame does not fall just on Abigail; it also falls on all the other girls that supposedly got afflicted by witchcraft, Reverend John Hale, Judge Hathorne, Deputy Governor Danforth and any other bystanders that were there to witness the injustice. Deputy Governor Danforth was the governor at the time of the trials; with these trials, he was between a wall and a sword; he did not have much of an option than to do what he did.

Abigail Williams, to the town, is just an innocent little girl that was bewitched by the town’s many witches. She plays the role of a teen that just wanted to dance in the woods but got forced to do other horrific things. She denies doing any of it under her own will because she is too proud to do so, so instead, she blames people and just starts having plain fun with the whole naming of people. She had admitted that the night in the wood, that they were just playing and nothing bad was going on, she said to John Proctor, “‘Oh, posh! We were dancin’ in the woods last night, and my uncle leaped in on us. She took fright, is all. (The Crucible, page 22)”’ She admitted this to her lover, John, minutes before she blames Tituba for witchcraft, saying, “‘I never sold myself! I’m a good girl! I’m a proper girl!”, “She made me do it! She made Betty do it!”, “She makes me drink blood! (The Crucible, page 45)”’ She even went as far as to threaten the other girls by saying, “‘Now look you. All of you. We dance. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam’s dead sisters. And that is all. And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night, and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down! (The Crucible, page 20)’” she threatens the girls’ life that if they don’t go along with her, they will receive the worst.

Argumentative Essay Examples on The Crucible

The blame for all these hangings at Salem does not just fall under one person, but the whole community itself. I say this because there were a lot of bystanders that if they stood together and were not afraid of what the town would say, they could have made a difference and stopped the nonsense before it got too far. Some people, to be specific, are the “afflicted” girls, the accused, Reverend John Hale, Judge Hathorne, Deputy Governor Danforth, and many more citizens of Salem.

For example, John Proctor, in the beginning, does not say anything about what Elizabeth told him because he has no evidence, “‘I am only wondering how I may prove what she told me, Elizabeth. If the girl’s a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove she’s a fraud, and the town went so silly. She told it to me in a room alone-I have no proof for it. (The Crucible, page 56-57)’” He knew the truth from the begging but did not say anything. The “afflicted” girls because they were too cowardly to say what really happened that night. Reverend John Hale because if he was such an expert on witches, why did he not detect that the people being accused were innocent? Deputy Governor Danforth because he cares more about order rather than justice.

The citizens of Salem because they knew that some of these people that got accused would not hurt a fly, and yet did nothing to stop it until it was too late.

Titles: The Role of Authority Figures in the Witch Trials

There is no excuse for what the town did, but if you put yourself on some of their feet, you can see why some of them did what they did. For example, Deputy Governor Danforth generally is a good man. He, John Proctor, Mary Warren, and Reverend Samuel Parris had a conversation, “‘It were pretense, sir” “I cannot hear you.” “It was pretense, she says.” “Ah? And the other girls? Susanna Walcott and the others? They are also pretending?” “Aye, sir.” “Indeed.” “Excellency, you surely cannot think to let so vile a lie be spread in open court! (The Crucible, page 93)’” Even after one of the girls came up clean with what happened, Reverend Samuel Parris, right away, did not even give Danforth time to think before he accused the girl of lying.

The Crucible Essay: Deputy Governor Danforth’s Predicament

These cases with the witchcraft have really messed up his vision of what justice is; he decided not to mess up his reputation rather than go against the whole town. In other words, you could say he was between a wall and a sword. He could not go either way. He had to choose from going by the law and giving every accused person a fair trial, which would be going against the whole town and a few “afflicted” girls, and that would only lead the town to turn against him and say he was also a witch or helping the witches. The other option is that he takes in the accused and lets them confess to the witchcraft, or they would be hanged if they denied any of the accusations. Danforth was in a tight spot, both options were not the best, but he just did not know which one was the best. I believe if he had the support of the town, he would have made the right decision from the beginning, but I understand that it is hard to go against the whole town on your own.

The Crucible is an event that you could reflect on for the rest of time. It shows how you can’t just blame one person but the whole community when it comes to a bad situation like this. It teaches you about the value of words and how fast people are willing to believe something just to feel a lot safer rather than knowing the facts. I don’t set the blame on Abigail Williams only or even Deputy Governor Danforth; I set it on the whole town equally on every single person that ever set foot in the courtrooms where the trials were taking place. This just shows how even this small town was not as united as it seemed. Not only that, it shows how people can easily be manipulated if you put on a fake face.


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