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Misuse of Power in The Crucible Essay


Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

People become awful when given power, and they make radical decisions when in charge. In the play The Crucible the girls, church, and court were all corrupted by their power over the town. Many innocent people were hung because the people who were convicting them became blinded by power.

The girls of Salem were never really looked at as important and had little authority. Having any sort of fun was prohibited in their town, so they would secretly dance in the woods in the middle of the night. One night Mr. Parris was walking through the woods and spotted them dancing. He assumed it had to do with witch craft as Ruth Putnam and his own daughter grew ill, little did he know it was all an act to avoid getting in trouble for breaking the law.

His slave Tituba gets blamed by the girls for allegedly corrupting them with witch craft. Tituba doesnt know what to say so she falsely confesses to the act and claims to love god again. Supposedly the devil persuaded her with hopes that hell return her to her home in Barbados if she does what he tells her to. She is looked at as a tool sent by god to help the town of Salem rid it of its evil after confessing.

Abigail is the ring leader of all the girls and they do as she does. After seeing how Rev. Hale and Parris treated Tituba when she confessed Abigail also confesses so she too could be a tool sent by god. All the girls soon follow in a confusion of confessions to Rev. Hale. The girls are admired by the entire town for helping the church and court hunt for witches. Now there was a form of fun for everyone because people were getting convicted and hung. Abigail did all that she could to convince the court that certain people in the town were witches, and the court believed her every time she tried to convict someone.

Mary Warren was one of the girls who followed after Abigail. She worked in John Proctors house as some sort of maid. During the witch trials she became disobedient to him because she was no longer just his maid but a respected person in the court. She would side with the girls so she wouldnt get convicted. When she attempted to prove them all liars with Proctor they all accused her of being a witch so Mary sided with them again and told the court Proctor forced her to compact with the devil.

Parris Began to get more involved with the court and went to every hearing. He always budded in and made it look like the innocent people being convicted were really witches by asking them ridiculous questions. After so many people had been hung he realized he wanted nothing to do with the trials. Mr. Putnam became very greedy and decided to take advantage of the fact that his daughter was apart of the girls that could convict anyone because the court was on her side. He told her to accuse all their neighbors of witch craft so he could purchase their property.

Danforth and Hathorne were two main characters in the court. Danforth only continued convicting people so the church wouldnt look weak. He started to doubt the girls powers to sense witch craft amongst the people of Salem but he kept hanging people because he was expected to by the town and church. Hathorne, as a judge, was in second command to Danforth. He saw that the people had good arguments but sided with whatever Danforth said anyway.

In conclusion, the people of Salem were nothing but bored and power hungry. They had nothing better to do than hang other people just because they were powerful enough to and attended the hangings as if they were some sort of sporting event. In The Crucible the girls, church, and court were all corrupted by their control over the towns people.

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