The Crucible: Who is to Blame

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The Crucible: Who Is To Blame

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The Salem Witch Trials were a range of hearings in where many people were accused of practicing witchcraft. The event was so dramatic that Arthur Miller decided to turn it into a play called The Crucible. The play consisted of characters blaming each other for different deads which led to many getting accused of involving themselves with the devil. Through it all, some specific people caused the trials and one main person instigated it. In the end, Hale is to blame for the Salem Witch Trials because he used his status of being knowledgeable when it came to the devil to misguide the town.

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Since Reverend Hale was an intellectual man when it came to dealing with the devil, he made it easier for the town to believe that there were witches in Salem. An example of it would be, “PUTNAM: as though for further details: They say you’ve sent for Reverend Hale of Beverly? PARRIS: with dwindling conviction now: A precaution only. He has much experience in all demonic-arts, and I -. MRS.PUTNAM: He has indeed; and found a witch in Beverly last year, and let you remember that.” (Miller) This proves my claim because the quote shows civilians relying on this man alone to make a big decision for their town. Once they heard of an instance in the past where Hale supposedly found a witch they believed he could help. Another piece of evidence that helps is, “PUTNAM: pleased: It does not seem to help us today, Mr. Hale. We look to you to come to our house and save our child.” (Miller) This piece also relates to the evidence because it shows Putnam begging Hale to save the children as if he can perform a miracle. By saying we look to you, Putnam is putting all his trust in a man he has just heard of. Not only did the people rely on reverend Hale, but he goes along with the claims without debating if it is true or not.

After being asked to look at all the children in Salem, Hale continues with the act by interrogating the people of the town and judging them by their actions. A quote that supports that is, “HALE: Ah! The stoppage of prayer - that is strange. I’ll speak further on that with you. GILES: I’m not sayin’ she’s touched the Devil, now, but I’d admire to know what books she reads and why she hides them. ' She’ll not answer me, y’ see. HALE: Aye, we’ll discuss it” (Miller). In many instances when Hale is told to examine something he says it's strange and passes it on as witchcraft. While Giles is trying to defend himself, Reverend Hale ignores all the evidence and changes it to make it fit his ideas of dealing with the devil. More evidence that fits the claim is, “HALE: Mr. Parris, you did not notice, did you, any living thing in the kettle? A mouse, perhaps, a spider, a frog -? PARRIS, fearfully: I - do believe there was some movement - in the soup. ABIGAIL: That jumped in, we never put it in! HALE, quickly: What jumped in? ABIGAIL: Why a very little frog jumped - PARRIS: A frog, Abby! HALE, grasping Abigail: Abigail, it may be your cousin is dying. Did you call the Devil last night?” (Miller) This quote reveals Reverend Hale adding on to what Abigail is trying to say by providing her options to add on to her lie. While she is only exaggerating and trying to get herself out of the situation, Hale acts on assumptions and continues to pursue. Similarly though, Reverend couldn’t possibly have caused this whole trial himself because it was growing before he came meaning someone else is also to blame.

There is some truth to the argument that Abigail is to blame for the trials by creating a lie that there were witches in Salem. However, what is not said is that Reverend Hale fed of that lie and continued with the accusations even though there was no real hard evidence. Those who believe Abigail is to blame point to, “ABIGAIL: I want to open myself! They turn to her, startled. She is enraptured, as though in a pearly light. I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!” (Miller) This doesn't count for the fact that Hale added on to her lie by giving her ideas, For example, “ABIGAIL: I didn’t see no Devil! Shaking Betty: Betty, wake up. Betty! Betty! HALE: You cannot evade me, Abigail. Did your cousin drink any of the brews in that kettle? ABIGAIL: She never drank it! HALE: Did you drink it? ABIGAIL: No, sir!” (Miller) The quote backs up the fact that Hale had the power to make Abigail say what he wanted to hear and the fact that Abigail was only a child made her easier to control. Thus Reverend Hale is to blame because he used his way with the people to escalate the trials further than they should have.

All in all, Reverand Hale is to blame for the Salem witch trials because he used his knowledge to misguide the town into believing that there were actual witches in Salem. By doing this he managed to get the trust of the people and in return, the people relied on him. He also had a big influence on Abigail by unintentionally feeding her ideas like asking her if there was something in the kettle and in doing so, Abigail decided to pick one of his ideas and go by it. However, this does not mean that she is not partially to blame for the trials. In the end, it is important to know about the Salem witch trials because it has greatly impacted the way people perceive the truth and the law. It has also impacted the way society views witchcraft as taboo or Satanic. The trials are an influencing factor to this, and many people still believe those misconceptions today.

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