The Crucible--Hysteria

Length: 5 Pages 1352 Words

Hysteria is displayed by communities all over the world. It is an important factor in making and especially breaking relationships. In Arthur Millers, The Crucible, hysteria plays an important role of tearing apart the community of Salem by creating an environment where people act on their grudges, which is exemplified by many of the characters throughout the play, such as Abigail, Proctor, and Danforth, as they eventually ruin one another in the process. In The Crucible, hysteria begins to arise after the event of young girls of the community of Salem, Massachusetts are caught dancing in the moonlight in an order that they believe will kill Proctors wife, whom Abigail has feelings for. After the girls are caught by Abigail’s uncle, Reverend Parris, they blame their actions and influence on the Devil, and that Tituba, Parris’ slave who teaches the girls about spirits, has called upon him and made them dance. The girls refuse to confess, and because of this, basically everything goes downhill and hysteria starts. The girls, especially Abigail, begin to accuse innocent people of sending the Devil upon them, and later, eventually anyone in the community who acted out of the ordinary was accused of witchcraft. An example o Continue...


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The hysteria of Salem eventually ruins the community of the people. He shows how he put an end to it is when he says, "I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another. Over 150 people were accused of practicing witchcraft and many relationships, friendships, and reputations were broken. This is displayed when Elizabeth says to John, "You will not judge me more, Elizabeth. Proctor also almost adds to the hysteria when he says that he will confess to the law who he saw with the devil in order to save himself, but he ends up not giving the confession so he can keep his name. Due to Abigail and John Proctor's affair, Abigail develops a type of love for Proctor after he breaks contact with Abigail, which may just be jealousy because he spends time and interest in his wife, Elizabeth. This was significant because if someone was accused and denied the accusations, they were immediately hung, yet if one confessed, all they did was ruin their name and not stay true to their faith. Hysteria could of easily been ended, but others continued to seek revenge on other and it continued to build. Now by God's grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it (P. It allowed the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under fairness. John Proctor later shows how he truly loves Elizabeth and will do anything to protect her, even if it requires losing his reputation when he states, "she thinks to dance with me on my wife's grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. I have good reason to think before I charge fraud on Abigail, and I will think on it. An example is when Elizabeth says to John showing how that by sleeping with Abigail, he made a commitment to her in her eyes, "Spoke or silent, a promise is surely made (P.