The Crucible: Abuse of Power
The Crucible: Abuse of Power In a Puritan civilization, the amount of power the Church and the court had on the citizens was unfair. The Church was depended on to make laws and the court acted as a threat and intimidated civilians to obey the laws. In doing so, the life of a Puritan was not a fortunate one. Second, the court is ruled by hypocrites and corruption. Two characters that were mainly at fault were Danforth and Abigail. Danforth was a judge who declared that “this is a court of law. The law based upon the Bible.. ” (Miller 56). He uses false accusations and assumptions during cases.
Danforth knows that, because of his power, he can suspect people without evidence. “You misunderstand, sir; I cannot pardon these when twelve are already hanged for the same crime. It is not just. ” (Miller 68). Danforth’s statement is a paradox because he is not considering how people are being accused of witchcraft without concrete evidence. Also, Abigail allows innocent people to be tried and sometimes even hanged without a chance to defend themselves. Her main reason was to prove the hypocrisy within the town. “Let you beware, Mr. Danforth.
Think you to be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits? Beware of it! ” (Miller 59). Abigail is hinting that no one (especially Danforth) isn’t safe from the devil. She sees the trials as a game. Abigail wishes to punish Salem for its hypocritical values by falsely accusing women and men for their wrong doing. First, the Priest of the community was in charge of making and distributing laws. Because of their position, the laws are based from the bible. Parris knew this and abused his power as the Reverend of Salem. “He cut a villainous path, and there is very little good to be said for him.
He believed he was being persecuted wherever he went, despite his best efforts to win people and God to his side…He felt insulted if someone rose to shut the door without first asking his permission” (Miller 1). Parris, as the leader of the Church, defiled his position. He was unapproachable and hot-headed. Parris was a selfish man who only cared about his reputation. “…and for twenty week he preach nothin’ but golden candlesticks until he had them…. I think, sometimes, the man dreams cathedrals, not clapboard meetin’ houses” (Miller 36). Proctor gives an example of Parris’ selfish nature.
He, as a reverend, wants to be remembered as somewhat of a deity. His hypocrisy within the Church has started much conflict between the witch trials and John Proctor. Throughout the play, a few characters use the power they hold to their advantage. The abuse of power within the Church is clear as well as the corruption of the court. The life of a Puritan citizen was unfair and unfortunate. Due to the defiling of the Church and Laws, many lives were lost, ruined, and gloomy Works Cited Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, New York: the Penguin Group, 1982. Print.