Irony in the Crucible
In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, irony is used a number of times throughout the play. One of the examples in which irony is demonstrated is when Elizabeth Proctor lies in court about John Proctor’s affair with Abigail Williams. This technique is also found when the reader finds out that Abigail, Betty, and Tituba live in the minister’s house. Finally, irony is shown when John Proctor forgets one of the Ten Commandments when Hale comes to his house.
A great example of irony is when Elizabeth Proctor lies about the affair that she knows that Abigail and John Proctor have. She states this when Danforth asks, “Is your husband a lecher” and Elizabeth answers, “No, sir” (Miller 874, Act 3). This shows that Elizabeth did not want to confess about the affair. She was also unsure of what to say at certain times because she kept turning towards Proctor for answers or clues on what she should say.
I believe that this example is ironic mainly because Elizabeth had never told a lie, until now when she does lie about her husband’s affair with Abigail Williams. What is also ironic about this event is the reason that it happened. When John Proctor was in trial, the judges needed somebody to tell them something about Proctor that they did not know. When Judge Danforth tells Parris to go get Elizabeth Proctor, he asks John Proctor if whether she is of trust. Proctor responds that she had never told a lie in her life, that she did not have the capability to lie (Miller 873, Act 3).
I believe that this is ironic because he said that Elizabeth could not tell a lie, and to his surprise, she told a lie for him. The second example of when irony appears in The Crucible is when the author shows us that Abigail, Betty and Tituba lived in Parris’ house, the minister. Abigail lives in his house because Parris is her uncle, and she had to move there when Elizabeth Proctor kicked her out of the Proctor’s home. Betty Parris is the minister’s daughter and…