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.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Characterization refers to the manner in which an author or playwright presents a character through his or her motives, mannerisms, actions, and dialogue. In certain instances, as in The Crucible, the writer may also provide background information.

In this play, Arthur Miller paints a picture of characters who seem to be driven by fear, hysteria, vengeance, or profit in making false accusations. Tituba, Reverend Parris's slave, is a good example of someone who is so afraid that she starts accusing others in order to save herself from severe retribution, not only spiritually but also physically. When it is discovered that she led the unholy shenanigans in the forest, she is threatened and later "confesses" that she had been misled by others from the village, as the following excerpt indicates.

Hale: You most certainly do, and you will free her from it now! When did you compact with the Devil?

Tituba: I don't compact with no Devil!

Parris: You will confess yourself or I will take you out and...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1465 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team