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What is the role of Reverend Parris in act three, of "The Crucible?"

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hifooo | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2012 at 2:30 PM via web

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What is the role of Reverend Parris in act three, of "The Crucible?"

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

Posted November 25, 2012 at 5:52 PM (Answer #1)

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Throughout Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," Reverend Parris has constantly been worried about his own reputation. Even when is daughter, Betty, is found to be ill, his main concern is the blackening of his own name (given that his home is identified as the beginning of the rumors surrounding witchcraft). Over the course of the play, Parris constantly worries about how others perceive him and his position as the clergy for the town.

In act three of the play, Abigail is found to be lying by the court. Instead of protecting his niece, Parris is only concerned with his own welfare. He states that Proctor has only been concerned with ruining him. That said, Parris turns the trial's attention to himself and tries to, once again, protect his own future.

The role of Parris in this act is to illuminate the idea that many of the villagers in Salem are only concerned with their own well-being. Regardless of what is going on around them, and who is being wrongfully accused, Parris fails to act as a reasonable and God fearing man. Instead, as stated, his only concern is himself.

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