Explain why Puritans revolved around religion by using a quote from Act 1.

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jilllessa | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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The Puritans life revolved around religion because it helped them define life.  Good things that happened were from God and the bad things were from the Devil.  They had a constant fear of Satan and looked for him in everything and clung to their God out of a desire for safety.  Hale displays this attitude soon after his entrance in Act I scene I when he gets out his book to look up signed of the devil:

Hale: Here is all the invisible world, caught, defined, and calculated.   In these books the Devil stands stripped of all his brude disgiuses.  Here are all your familiar spirits.... Have no fear now - we shall find him out if has has come among us, and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face. 

Here Hale shows how fear of Satan propels these people into a legalistic type of Christianity that permeates their whole lives.  The turn to relgion in fear, not love.

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I'm not sure you can explain why this would be so from the play--that's too big a question. However, one can look at how their lives revolved this way, and what it meant to them. For example, Putnam says, "Now look you, sir. Let you strike out against the Devil, and the village will bless you for it!"

That's a good example of how central religion is. They didn't see it as a matter of private conscience, but rather, as something of great and shared importance. To hold a specific view was a matter of political and social importance.


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