Moral conflict in The Crucible.
By Charlotte B.
Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, is a great portrayal of humans and their struggles. This
play takes place in the 1690’s in Salem, a small Puritan community based on a rigid social
system, where an outbreak of rumors claiming witchcraft contaminated the small village. The
witch hysteria was initiated by a group of young girls (headed by Abigail Williams,) who were
afraid of being accused of swaying from the strict regulations. This caused conflict among the
people of the community and ultimately resulted in absolute chaos. I am going to write about
three of the main characters, Reverend Hale, John Proctor and Mary Warren, who have some of
the most intense internal and external struggles in the play.
Reverend Hale’s battle is initiated by his personal commitment to God. In Act I, the
Reverend is described as an eager-eyed intellectual pondering the invisible world. Hale seeks
witches and gets them to confess, so god can bless them and rid them of the devil. An example of
this is when he said to Betty, “In nomine Domini Sabaoth sui filiique ite ad infernos,” which
means: In the name of the lord of hosts and his son get thee to the lower world. This shows
Reverend Hale’s views on witchery. He is a deeply religious man who was unrelenting in his
quest for the devil. Originally, Hale believed that there was witchcraft in the town and wanted to
drive it out. However as the play develops, Hale witnesses sincere and respectable townspeople
being sentenced and hanged. Hale tries to gain a perspective on those accused, by going to their
houses and putting questions to them, about their nature and religious behavior. He soon learns
that the court proceedings, lead by Judge Danforth were sending innocent people to their death,
in the name of Christianity. Here begins the Reverend’s inner turmoil. Wi...