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What does Elizabeth mean when she says to John, "the magistrate which sits on your...

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jove | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:49 AM via web

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What does Elizabeth mean when she says to John, "the magistrate which sits on your heart judges you"?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:26 AM (Answer #1)

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Arthur Miller’s “Crucible” should be read in the context of Protestant Christianity, in which the Church on earth is understood as flawed and sinful. In the sinful human Church of Salem, local politics and human fallibility (adultery, greed, bearing false witness) distort the justice of human magistrates. But as well as fallible human judges, there exists a true infallible judge, Jesus, who in Augustinian theology appears as the teacher, who renders true judgements not corrupted by human veniality. It is this inner magistrate in John’s heart to whom Elizabeth refers.

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