What would be an example of conflict and characterization from The Crucible and Macbeth to prove the following quote: "In a dark time, the eye begins to see,…" I'm having trouble finding...

What would be an example of conflict and characterization from The Crucible and Macbeth to prove the following quote:

"In a dark time, the eye begins to see,…"

I'm having trouble finding examples from both works to prove it.

 

Asked on by kenny243

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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"In a dark time the eye begins to see" more clearly in the sense that it focuses upon what is closer in one's consciousness to the exclusion of things unimportant in the surroundings.

In Macbeth, which has an under tragedy of retribution, the bloody path that leads to more blood in order for Macbeth to hold his crown--

It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood. (3.4.128)

--begins to affect both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. While it may be argued that Lady Macbeth does not truly see what is before her in her madness, nevertheless, in her mind she perceives blood on the stairs as clearly as someone else may see nothing because her conscience focuses upon her bloody actions. Thus, in her guilt she clearly sees into the darkness of her soul and realizes her bloody acts.

Likewise, in The Crucible, John Proctor becomes more clear-sighted as the darkness of the witchcraft trials increases. For, he realizes that if he holds to his confession in order to spare his life, it will give the Salem court power and all will have lost their lives to the superstition and egotistical ignorance of those who condemn. Further, he becomes aware of the dishonor that will come to his name if he acts only to save himself; therefore, he can leave nothing to his wife Elizabeth and his sons. 

DANFORTH:  Mr. Proctor, I must have good and legal proof that you--
PROCTOR:  You are the high court...say Proctor broke his knees and wept like a woman: say what you will, but my name cannot--

In the darkness of his final moments, John Proctor sees clearly that integrity and concern for the greater good matters more than his life.

PROCTOR: ....How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul: leave my name.

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