What are some allusions in "The Crucible"?
In Act Two, when Francis Nurse arrives at the Proctors' house, he tells John and Elizabeth Proctor, Mary Warren, and Reverend Hale that his wife, Rebecca, has been accused of and arrested for witchcraft. The Proctors are in shock, but Reverend Hale still wants to believe in the justice of the court. He tells John, "in great pain," that "until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven." Here, he alludes to the angel, Lucifer, and his rebellion against God. Hale says that, until right before Lucifer fell from God's grace, God still thought him to be good. In other words, it is possible that Rebecca seems good, or has been good all along up until now and that she has still fallen and committed this grievous sin.
Also, in Act Two, when Herrick comes to arrest Elizabeth Proctor, John tries to make Hale see that the court is not just—that the girls are not honest. He shouts, "Pontius Pilate! God will not let you wash your hands of this!" Here, he alludes to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, who did not think that Jesus deserved to be executed. However, the crowd called for Jesus's crucifixion and Pilate gave in to them, symbolically "washing his hands" in order to show that he did not consider himself to be personally responsible. However, in doing so—allowing a man he believed to be innocent to be killed—history has judged Pilate to be just as responsible, if not more so, than they. John calls Hale "Pontius Pilate" because he believes that Hale is...
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