Who has power at the beginning of the play The Crucible? What events and issues cause the power shifts in the course of the play? What is Miller saying about power and authority?

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At the beginning of the play, I would say that Parris has some power and Hale has a lot of power.  Parris is the preacher and Hale has been called in to look for witches.

By the end of the play, neither of these two has much power.  Power has...

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At the beginning of the play, I would say that Parris has some power and Hale has a lot of power.  Parris is the preacher and Hale has been called in to look for witches.

By the end of the play, neither of these two has much power.  Power has moved to the court (and Danforth) but also to Abigail Williams and the girls who are doing all the accusing.

I think that Miller is saying that power tends to get abused and to corrupt people.  Abigail and others have started to use the trials to strike at their enemies.  Danforth has become corrupted and cares more about his own image than about justice.

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