Sunday, September 22, 2019

Despite Proctors Essay Example for Free

Despite Proctors Essay Another character introduced in Act two is Mary Warren. She is extremely important to the Act as she is what makes the connection between village life and the sentencing that is happening at the courts, and with the proctor household. She is the one who tells us that there have been thirty-nine arrests. When she first arrives in Act two we find that she has defied the orders of John and Elizabeth by going to the court. When told that she must not return she rebels using the excuse I am an official of the court. This is a fine example of how the hysteria of witchcraft has affected the everyday life in the community of Salem. Mary is a servant within the proctor household; she is paid nine pounds a year to keep the house. She is not in a position to rebel against the word of Elizabeth or John, and under normal circumstances would not do so. We know that this is peculiar behaviour because of Elizabeths reply to Proctor, when asked why she had let Mary go to the court. Elizabeth says She frightened all my strength away I forbid her to go, and she raises up her chin like the daughter of a prince and says to me, I must go to Salem, Goody Proctor. It is clear to us now just how much the affair between Proctor and Abigail influences the current events and the events that are to follow. Mary also plays another role within Act two; she portrays to us the amount of hate that Abigail holds for Elizabeth. When she reveals that she saved the life of Elizabeth in court, as her name had been mentioned among the accused. I saved her life today. She refuses to say by whom, I am bound by law, I cannot tell but it is obvious to the reader and to Elizabeth that Abigail Williams is the accuser. This shows Abigails malicious hate as by accusing Elizabeth she is striving towards an eventual execution. Elizabeth who is a smart woman anticipates this intense hate long before she discovers she has been accused and she says to John referring to Abigail and thinks to kill me, then to take my place. Another reason that proves Marys importance to Act two is that she illustrates to us the extremity of power that Abigail and the girls have. Throughout Act two Marys speech and stage directions imply a weak and feeble character. With a trembling decaying voice she has been edging towards offstage. It is apparent that she is constantly subject to the bullying of Proctor and that she gives into his bullying one hundred percent of the time. Yet in the last few pages of Act Two, Proctor, using violence is trying to persuade Mary to testify in court against Abigail to save his wife. Despite Proctors violent advances grasping her by the throat as though he would strangle her Mary sobs I cannot, I cannot. This shows Marys new changed belief that Abigail and the girls are more powerful and fearful than the man she has worked for and feared for so long. This event also marks the start of the loss of power John Proctor suffers from throughout the rest of the play. The Crucible plays host to many themes. The theme of tyranny (when a situation or person controls how you are able to live in an unfair way) is shown mainly by Abigails power over the girls, and their power over the people of Salem. By confessing to witchcraft, and publicly announcing their sudden devotion to God, and desperation to do his will, they give themselves great power over society. Abigails word becomes unassailable as does the word of the other girls. With this power they were able to control the rest of the Salem by fear. Another way in which Tyranny is shown is Proctors initial control over Mary. As she enters the scene she is greeted by Proctor with the words Ill whip you if you dare leave this house again. Mary is undoubtedly afraid of Proctor as he appears an extremely violent man to her. At the end of the Act Proctor uses violence yet again to get his own way, we know from Act three that she eventually does go to the court and testify. Another theme that is apparent in Arthur Millers The Crucible is fear. Every character in The Crucible is subjected to fear at some point within the story line, not just those who are accused. Those who are not accused fear that the sins of their friends and associates may taint their names and cause them to be found guilty of witchcraft: A key example of this is Parriss fear that the actions of Abigail and the rumours of witchcraft that surround his daughters coma will cost him his title as reverend. Those who are accused must face the fear, of being hung, they must also decide whether their fear of being hung, is greater than their fear of breaking one of the Ten Commandments by lying to save themselves. The different characters show their fear in various ways; the most interesting would be Proctor, whose fear is not for himself but for his wife. This differs from the fear of Francis Nurse and Giles Corey whos wives are also accused, as Proctor is having to balance the fear of the death of his wife, with the fear, or more the realisation that the death of his wife could be on his hands as she stands accused because of the malicious jealousy aroused within in Abigail when he finished their affair. He is also under pressure as he knows that he can put a stop to the girls accusations and save his wife by blackening his own name and admitting his lechery with Abigail. Proctor expresses this pressure with his line to Mary, My wife will never die for me! I will bring your guts into your mouth but that goodness will not die for me! Another character subject to fear is the wife of John Proctor, Elizabeth. Elizabeth fears for her relation with John. Though they love each other very much their relationship has been scarred by the affair between Abigail and Proctor. She like Mary is also frightened of the power that Abigail possesses. As she knows that it is enough to condemn her to death. When she is taken by Cheever and Herrick we know she is scared as John says to her Fear nothing Elizabeth. and her next line is said (as indicated by stage direction) with great fear. Another character who is apparent to fear is Mary. From the moment she enters the scene she is subject to fear. First the fear of John as he violently questions her and makes to whip her Ill whip the devil out of you. Next the fear of incriminating herself or Elizabeth when Cheever and Herrick turn up at the house and she is called downstairs for questioning, and finally when she is once again being bullied by proctor to testify in court: here she is not only scared of Proctor but of what the girls and Abigail will do if she does turn on them. (in terror): I cannot, theyll turn on me

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