Arthur Miller

The violence in the play is shocking, mentally and physically; it even makes us think after the play has finished. I think Arthur Miller is trying to make us think about Puritanism is it good or bad. The play includes interesting facts about how sensible people can become completely foolish and get carried away when they become part of a mob. The whole story starts of with the girls rebelling against being possessed by Puritan beliefs. As in the case of the children dancing in the woods, the adults were so shocked and furious. To us as an audience in this day and age, this dancing would be seen as fun but at the time the play was set it would have been considered an infection. Children have always wanted to have fun, however the Puritan religion forbids this, which is like being a footballer and being told he’s not allowed to play anymore.

Miller is deliberately making the story line complex by introducing many different emotional lines to each of the characters, for example, Mary Warren. Towards the beginning Mary and Abigail have an argument about what they should do about the accusations of witchcraft. “What’ll we do? The village is out! I just come from the farm; the whole country’s takin� witchcraft! They’ll be callin� us witches, Abby!” From the text it is clearly obvious that Abby is not going to give up or turn herself in.

It’s also interesting to see how different relationships develop as the plot unfolds. For example, the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor goes through almost unrecognisable changes. At the beginning of the play we see their relationship very dull. However at the end of act four we hear the warm and passionate swap between the two characters as Elizabeth opens her heart to John and although not wishing for him to bear witness to Witchcraft desperately wanting him to live so he could bring up there unborn baby together. We can see and feel sorry for how the pressure they are being put under is affecting each of the relationships. This allows us to become even more involved in the plot.

But in the end, who is to blame for all of the executions? Puritanism, Abby or Danforth? The play is deliberately complex and versatile, and not in plain and simple text, even though the characters themselves are simple. In my opinion everyone’s to blame, if one person would have seen sense or admitted it was a hoax it would have never happened. If Abigail hadn’t twisted the story it wouldn’t have happened. If Judge Danforth hadn’t of been so determined he would have seen through straight through Abigail’s routine. But at the end as in our own lives, there is no one completely to blame for anything. Very rarely is anything one person’s fault.

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