The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Salem was a theocracy. How does this form of government affect the outcome of the play The Crucible?  

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Despite what your religious affiliation or beliefs concerning matters of faith are, most modern thinkers can concede that a theocracy is an extraordinarily dangerous form of governance—perhaps even more so than many types of dictatorships. In a theocracy, the supreme basis for government is a religion and, by extension, a religious text. The problem with this is that compared to concrete laws, codes, and statutes, religious texts are far less plain and much more open to interpretation. The vague and often contradictory nature of morality that is found in religious texts frequently allows for ill-meaning charlatans to bend the text to their own agenda.

In the case of the crucible, it is Abigail Williams who uses the town's religious sensibilities as gain for her extraordinarily petty vengeance. Unlike modern iterations of Christianity, which focus on the universal love of Christ, Puritanical societies such as the one in Salem were focused on the principle of "fear of God." Citizens...

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