In the play, was there any evidence of actual witchcraft, or was it all just exaggerated paranoia?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question demonstrates real thought because it challenges the fundamentals of Puritanism and therefore Christianity.  If there is a God, does he have a real enemy that interacts with people? Thus, I think this question's answer is based on what you really do believe about the opposing forces of good and evil and that which represents them.

The evidence used in the real Salem Witch Trials was called spectral evidence. This means that is was spiritual evidence that was discerned by the girls. There was no physical evidence except that which was strange and explained as spectral.

In this play, the actual acts which could be associated with witchcraft would be the naked dancing, the frog in the pot, Tituba's words, BUT all of these things could have also been done not under the power or the spell of Satan or evil. Kids rebel and do stupid things.

The result of their acts - the seemingly paralyzation of one of the girls could have been faked too, or was it real?

In answer to your question, I think it is a matter of perspective, and a little bit of both.

mkcapen1 | Student

The only truth of some type of activities that could be considered by American culture to have been witchcraft would have been the ceremonial drinking of the chicken blood.  However, this would depend on whose perspective one is taking.  The Puritans believed that anything that did not fit into the categories that they could explain was either from God or the Devil.  In truth, there had been no evidence of witch craft.  Only misbehavior and false allegations were the evidence that was portrayed to be  witchcraft.

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The Crucible

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