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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Crucible is violent because, through the events of the play, innocent and good people are wrongly persecuted, imprisoned, and eventually hanged, by a corrupt justice system, for crimes they did not commit.  The violence done to these individuals in the name of justice is disturbing and tragic. 

Take John Proctor, for instance: though he is not sinless, he is a good man.  He is accused of witchcraft by Mary Warren, his cowardly and hypocritical employee, and he is found guilty through no evidence aside from her testimony.  His own words are twisted against him.  He is left to rot in a disgusting jail cell for months, all because some terrible coward sought to save herself by pointing a finger at him.  Further, on the day of his hanging, his judge isn't even convinced that he's committed the crime of which he's been accused, but because Danforth is afraid of undermining his own and the court's authority, he will neither transmute nor delay the sentence.  Proctor is faced with the awful decision to tell the truth and die or lie and keep his life: the violence of this choice is appalling.  And the fact that his integrity and honesty and desire to be a good man costs him his life, in the end, is the most violently tragic of all.

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The Crucible

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