The Role of Fear in the Crucible, a Play by Arthur Miller

In “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, fear was portrayed as an essential role in degrading the integrity of humans, through the different aspects of social, political, and religious perspectives. In the theocratic society of “The Crucible,” fear engendered the first accusation made by Tituba, which served to imply the first hint at moral unrighteousness. The lies that sprung out of fear also played as the invisible hand that forced upon the promotion of corruption in the government of Salem. Besides uncovering only similar facets of fear in social and political perspectives, religious fear revealed a different aspect of human nature, through their desperacy to be “good”. Following the eyes of these three prospects, the author shows how easily humans submit to one of their most innate emotions, fear, and subsequently, to their fate.

From the social perspective, the girls took fear as an excuse for murder and vengeance, yielding to their fears and to their fate. Tituba’s accusation eventually resulted in the deaths of all the people, who were accused and did not confess, in Salem. The fear in her heart for really having been involved with witchcraft and the fear of losing her “name” to the people of Salem, led to the downfalling integrity of her, who, “frightened by the coming process….I do believe somebody else be witchin’ these children” (Miller 45). This fear, as Miller had described, was simply another form of siding with the Devil: “I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud…” (Miller 120).

The metaphor used to compare the Devil to people, as righteous as Proctor and Danforth were, emphasized the dangerous truth of the society’s immorality, that humans, subject to fear, succumb without retaliation when faced with a threat such as being accused, to the Devil. In addition, the lies told by the girls were also incentives that compelled the corruption and decay of justice. Danforth, a symbol of justice in the story, also symbolized corruption. He claimed, “…witchcraft is…an invisible crime… Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it?

The witch and the victim…Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself… Therefore, we must rely upon her victims…” (Miller 100). The repetitive words of “Therefore… Therefore” highlighted that the point was reasonably argued. However, this justified statement proves its wrong when asked with these questions: “Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s finger” (Miller 77)? Speaking of God’s finger, an allusion to the Ten Commandments, the quote compared accusers to be as “clean” as to follow all the commandments. However, they did not, or at least Abigail did not.

The children lied when fear prompted them to, because they feared their lies would be discovered. Danforth, believing in such nonsense of the children, led to the corruption of the Salem government: “…a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between…we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world” (Miller 94). The diction by which the author uses, reveals that the corruption of justice was developed through rapid progression, and thus reflects the gradual faltering desire of the people to live faithfully, both to themselves and to God. In respect to the fear seen from social and political perspectives, through Proctor’s eventual refusal to confess, fear seen from the religious value of the Puritan society uncovered a different side of humanity.

In “The Crucible,” Proctor was depicted as an irresponsible man. He had an affair with Abigail, yet did not bother to give her a name; his silence towards the girls’ accusations led to the numerous deaths of the people, yet did not speak out until the last minute. He held his pride, but he did not live proudly. Proctor’s fear of betraying his loyalty to God, however, brought about his human side: “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him” (Miller 145)! Tracing back to the origin of the Salem witch trials, it was caused by the vengeance running in Salem, but now, Proctor creates an image of the good side of humanity. Proctor’s fear of shaming his name also produced the same effect: “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies!

Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name” (Miller 143)! The intensity in Proctor’s tone creates a sense of desperation. He was dire to cling onto his life with an untainted name. Through Proctor’s character, readers realize that even amongst a corrupted society, man can lead a noble life, but at the same time, give in to fate. Through the use of fear as an integrating component in the story, to encompass the three perspectives, readers realize human fragility. “The Crucible” described the evilness emerging out of a supposedly pure society. Facing the Devil, humans see themselves begging on their knees. Yet, we still hold on to every hope to save ourselves. Even if we fear to lose ourselves in the process, we know we have battled with our lives, as Proctor had done before the eyes of the Devil. Nobody would ever want to give in to their fate. But fate, as figurative as it may seem, has been decided once we are born.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Don't really see any of sources I provided, but elsewise its great, thank you!
Customer 452697, May 8th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
Social Work and Human Services
Although it took 2 revisions I am satisfied but I did receive it late because of that.
Customer 452603, March 25th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent paper
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 9th, 2023
Impressive writing
Customer 452547, February 6th, 2021
thank you so much
Customer 452749, June 10th, 2021
Love this writer!!! Great work
Customer 452597, April 5th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work and effort. Made a 96 out of 125 points Lacked information from the rubic
Customer 452773, October 27th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Excellent work ,always done early
Customer 452773, February 21st, 2023
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent work
Customer 452773, July 3rd, 2023
Business and administrative studies
looks good thank you
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp