How does Arthur Miller use characterization to develop or advance the theme of "false accusation" in The Crucible? In you argument, you will need to present many pieces of evidence in the form...

How does Arthur Miller use characterization to develop or advance the theme of "false accusation" in The Crucible?

In you argument, you will need to present many pieces of evidence in the form of dialogue from the play, stage directions, and miller’s commentary to ensure that you have supported your claim.

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Miller makes it clear that people are willing to lie and falsely accuse their neighbors to gain some benefit from doing so, or to exact revenge. The best example is Abigail, who decides to falsely accuse Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of John Proctor, with whom Abigail had a brief affair. When John breaks off the relationship, Abigail is hurt and vows to get even. In the courtroom, Proctor claims Abigail is lying, calling her a "whore" and saying "She means to dance with me on my wife's grave."

The historical period depicted in the play was known for having a large population of young women who worked as servants whose prospects for marriage were far from desirable. No doubt Abigail thought removing Elizabeth from the picture by accusing her of witchcraft would allow her to be with John Proctor. False accusations abounded during the Salem Witch Trials, and many of them were motivated over greed or property disputes, as well as marital infidelity.

 

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