Within The Crucible, what are some themes shown and quotes to back this up? Within The Crucible, what are some themes shown and quotes to back this up?

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Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One theme of this play is the power of appearances and how this can lead to a shaky foundation for any kind of authority, especially moral authority. 

Danforth, conciliatory: You misunderstand, sir; I cannot pardon these when twelve are already hanged for the same crime. It is not just.

Here, the fraud has been practically exposed but the punishments assigned to those who have yet to hang will not be revoked because the moral authority of the court would be severly compromised. Justice is secondary to saving face. 

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Lizette Eaves eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Hysteria is a theme throughout the play along with its affects on the town.  When we begin the play, the town shows some previous fractures, but as the Nurses tell us there is hope that they town will have a peaceful year. As the witch trials continue, the town abandons all reason and erupts into hysteria.

In Act II Mary Warren speaks to the Proctors about the events occurring in town.   She and the other girls have begun to call other women in the town out for their witchcraft ways.  More importantly, she shows that she no longer focuses on logical reasons, but has given into the hysteria and because of it, believes what she is doing is right and good.

I never knew it before.  I never knew any of it before. .... I hear a voice, a screaming voice, and it were my voice- and all at once I remember everything she done to me!

 

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lizbv eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the main themes in The Crucible is Reputation.  With so many of the townspeople yelling accusations of witchcraft and pointing fingers, a person's reputation...

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