Why does everyone lie about the witchcraft in The Crucible?

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While the contemporary consensus on the Salem witch trials is that the witchcraft was imagined, there is evidence to suggest that many of the Salem citizens believed in the witchcraft at the time. This can be seen throughout The Crucible , from Reverend Paris to Tituba believing in the devil's...

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While the contemporary consensus on the Salem witch trials is that the witchcraft was imagined, there is evidence to suggest that many of the Salem citizens believed in the witchcraft at the time. This can be seen throughout The Crucible, from Reverend Paris to Tituba believing in the devil's ability to possess a person through witchcraft. It is easy to write off the characters as intentionally lying about the witchcraft, but that is a tad reductive. Ultimately, many of the characters in the play believe the witchcraft exists, and these beliefs have grave consequences.

It can be helpful to examine the sociopolitical context that surrounded the creation of The Crucible. Arthur Miller created the story as an allegory for the Red Scare and the hunt for communists in America. At the time, many American citizens and politicians believed that communists had infiltrated the country. This belief created a witch hunt that hurt many people's careers and livelihoods.

Instead of viewing the characters as lying, it may be more helpful to understand them as giving into hysteria. 

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