The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

The Crucible book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, what characters abuse their power and what are examples of this from the text?

In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, what characters abuse their power and what are examples of this from the text?

Expert Answers info

Colin Cavendish-Jones, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor, Lawyer

bookM.A. from Oxford University

bookPh.D. from St. Andrews University


calendarEducator since 2019

write3,051 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In The Crucible, to have power is to abuse it. The most powerful characters in political and financial terms are Deputy-Governor Danforth, Judge Hathorne, and Thomas Putnam. Abigail Williams and, for a time, Mary Warren, become powerful because their accusations are believed. These five characters all abuse their power, though Mary stops doing so in act III.

Another character who abuses his power and comes to regret it is the Reverend Hale. His power is based not on wealth or politics but on the combination of his position as a minister and his renown as an expert on witchcraft. When Parris remarks how heavy his books are, Hale replies pompously:

They must be; they are weighted with authority.

Hale talks about the need for "hard study" in outwitting the Devil and proclaims that:

The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone.

Yet his methods of examining Tituba and Abigail are both slapdash and credulous. He makes no attempt at academic precision or the examination of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1,044 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,376 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,423 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial