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What is a quote that can prove theocracy existed in Salem (from Miller's "The...

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howhow1996 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:02 PM via web

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What is a quote that can prove theocracy existed in Salem (from Miller's "The Crucible")? 

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 25, 2012 at 5:33 PM (Answer #1)

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While none of the actual dialogue from Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible," speaks to the combined power of the Church and the State (theocracy) in Salem, Act One does specifically mention its use.

“For good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies.”

This quote is found in the "Overture." In this section, Miller's narrator is introducing the reader/audience to the setting and some of the characters. Miller provides a rather lengthy section of text which allows readers to come to understand the historical aspects of the play. Here, Miller describes the typical Puritan thought, the accusations made against the villagers, the reasons for the accusations made against the villagers, and the Trials themselves.

Without the understanding of a Theocracy, some readers may not understand why the Trials were run as they were. Given that America, today, is a democracy, many young readers can not understand the joining of Church and State (as it was during the Puritan era). Therefore, the quote openly states that Salem was run by a Theocracy.

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