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Witchcraft Essay Topics & Paper Examples

The Salem Witch Trials: Martha Carrier

In Cotton Mather’s account of the trial of Martha Carrier, the witnesses use confessions of other witches incriminating the accused, physical evidence, anger resulting in mischief done to the person, and spectral evidence. Increase Mather would not have convicted Martha Carrier, he would have judged the presented evidence as unreliable because the majority of it was based heavily on witnesses’ testimonies, which Increase Mather did not consider as a valid source, as well as the anger and mischief between Martha Carrier and others, which could purely be coincidental. Martha Carrier’s own children gave testimonies of her witchcraft. They had “fully confessed not only that they were witches themselves, but that this their mother had made them so.” In the Salem…

Abigail Williams and How She Contributed to American History

Abigail Williams was a suspicious 11 or 12 year old girl who was the leading cause of the Salem Witch Trial hysteria. There is not much background information on her, but as far as history goes, Abigail was born 1680 and lived with her Uncle Samuel Parris’ family, who was the head Reverend of Salem, Massachusetts at the time. “Although it was ordinary practice for young girls to live with relatives to learn about housewifery, we know very little about Abigail, including where she was born and who her parents were.” (Yost, 2002) In an indirect way, Abigail has contributed to American history being that she was the main cause of the Salem Witch Trial accusations. The 6th amendment of…

Rise and Decline of the Witchhunts

The Reformation era was a time of great change in Early Modern Europe. Sixteenth and seventeenth century Europeans were attempting to make sense of the frightening events that were happening, such as the Black Death and famine. To find meaning in a world that seemed in constant chaos, early modern Europeans looked to find patterns that would set things right. “The Reformation would not have happened if ordinary people had not convinced themselves that they were actors in a cosmic drama plotted by God: that in the Bible he had left them a record of his plans and directions as to how to carry them out.” The Reformations brought a new direction of faith, where one had to be more…

The European Witch Craze

The European witch craze started in the 14th century and lasted until the 17th century. Over this period of time there have been between 200,000 and 500,000 witches executed. 85% of those were women. The Change of the inquisition’s objectives determined the character and timing of these executions, also a big part of that played differentiation process within medieval society. Women began to occupy higher positions within European society. A part of it was the higher proportion of female leaders and their influence on the changing economic roles. On the one hand it was a great period of time for women on the other they had to face increasing pressures from society and unfortunately, men became threatened by them therefore…

Religion and Witchcraft

The book “The Crucible” outlines the era in which Salem, where the plot took place is maneuvered by set of religious practices that must be strictly followed. These days, there is only one basis for righteousness, and allegiances are only between church as the protagonist, or question the church and its people and become looked upon as bad citizens. As such, the ten commandments is the central point wherein the people and the church base their criteria for being right. This fact, was detailed in the book, wherein John Proctor was accused of being not a Christian just because he does not regularly attend Church masses. This showed lack of reasoning from the people, no one attempted or understood how…

How does Miller present the relationship between Abigail and Proctor?

In The Crucible, we follow the adulterous and turbulent relationship between Abigail Williams and John Proctor, and watch it change and develop throughout the play, from Abigail trying to reinstate the affair in Act 1, to John Proctor confessing and therefore destroying it at the end of the play. John Proctor is an honest, plain-speaking local farmer. He is an impressive presence in the room, being described as ‘a man in his prime’ and ‘powerful of body’, illustrating his strength and independence. Although some people criticise his religious commitments, he is generally ‘respected and even feared in Salem’, again suggesting his position in the community. However, we then learn that he is a ‘sinner’. Although it may be easy, at…

The Witch Justified: True Creature or A Social Puzzle?

The author, throughout the whole short story, never validates the real existence of the “witch.” The story never says that Minggay is really a confirmed witch. The author makes the antagonist character complex, making it hard for the audience or readers to decide if Minggay is just a story spread through oral tradition, or a real mythical character. Nonetheless, we can say that her character is an icon of social issues, that have been encountered ever since our ancestors’ indigenous cultures, based on the rumors or chismis spread in the barrio about this peculiar woman, who is suspected as a witch. In the story, the protagonist is unnamed. We can tell that the boy is obedient and sweet, respectively from…

Salem Witch Trials Informative Essay

Imagine hearing your own child screaming in pain because of witches. Then, imagine being awoken by people pounding at your front door. Imagine sitting there in a court room being accused for being a witch. Sadly this is what happened in the Salem Witch Trials, which occurred in Salem, Massachusetts. The Salem Witch Trials were a dark time in American history, because innocent people were hanged. This was a period of time were villagers were accusing each other of being witches. Twenty people were hanged because of villagers accusing them of practicing witch craft. The Salem Witch Trials occurred in Salem, Massachusetts. This began in the winter of 1692 and then ended in the fall of 1693. People were killed…

The Role of the Supernatural in “The Tempest”

From the very start of Shakespeare’s play, “The Tempest”, magic is used to mesmerize the audience. The entire plot of this play is very reliant on the supernatural. Prospero, Ariel, and Caliban all have magical powers. Magic lets these characters, mainly Prospero, manipulate the other characters and make them do their bidding. Magic also maneuvers the plot, relationships, love and themes of the play. Magic is the motivation behind movement and plot development. Throughout the entire play, magic is use to make a variety of things happen. Magic is the heart of “The Tempest” and controls things in the play. Shakespeare uses magic to create Prospero who seems a divine character. He is the main character and Shakespeare gives him…

Witches Role in Macbeth

Most people in Shakespeare time believed in the powers of witches, and witchcraft became the object of morbid and fevered fascination. Between 1560 and 1605 hundreds of people (mainly women) were convicted as witches and executed. Witches were credited with diabolical powers. They could predict the future, bring on night in daytime, cause fogs and tempests and kill animals. They cursed animals with fatal wasting disease and could raise evil spirits by concocting a horrible brew with nauseating ingredients. It was believed witches allowed the devil to suck their blood in return for a familiar (an animal used as an evil servant). Accused witches were examined for the ‘devils mark’, a red mark on their body from where Satan had…

Witches in Europe from the late 15 through the 17th centuries

During this period religious reformation was at large in Europe. Protestant and Catholics reforms were on the rise. Moreover, the Scientific Revolution spawned in the midst of it all. With all this occurring, a demonic figure was created named witch for all those against or just not with God. Specific factors determined who would be persecuted for witchcraft. Those who forsake their religion or God, were females of certain age, and belonged to a poor social class, were sought out to be persecuted for witchcraft. The religions practiced at the time were based on the belief in God. Gods opposite or enemy is of course the Satan. The scripture told people of demons and their ability to posses someone or…

Tension in the “Trial Scene” of “The Crucible”

The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller who was born on 17th October 1915 in New York City. The Crucible is based on a small group of teen girls in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts caught in an innocent conjuring of love potions to catch young men who are forced to tell lies that Satan had invaded them and forced them to participate in the rites and are then forced to name those involved. Thrown into the mix are greedy preachers and other major landowners trying to steal others’ land and one young woman Abigail infatuated with a married man John Proctor and was determined to get rid of his innocent wife Elizabeth. Arthur Miller wrote the events and the consequent trials…

Tension in Arthur Millers ‘The Crucible'”

In The Crucible there is a lot of tension that builds gradually throughout the play. Tension is a very important factor in The Crucible and Arthur Miller uses a lot of different techniques to create and illustrate it. The tension repeatedly rises, and then falls. This could be displayed in a graph. The graph would start with small peaks, and as the tension escalates the peaks would gradually become higher. Note every peak would be higher than the previous to show a gradual build of tension throughout the whole play. I am going to focus mainly on the end of act one, and the start of act two. I will explore the two scenes in great detail, and compare how…

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller

This play is based on the real events of the Salem witch hunt however is not completely accurate by reducing the amount of girls “crying out” and that Abigail’s age had been raised as she was just really eleven years old as with such other things. The play’s base is still the same by showing that there were nineteen men and women convicted of witch craft that were hanged and how another man over eighty years old was pressed to death with heavy stones for not confessing whilst dozens stayed in jail for months without trials. This was all McCarthyism that was still around when The Crucible was written and was a witch hunt looking for evil which focused on…

Crucible Analyzing John Proctor

Analyzing John Proctor as a Tragic Hero In the Crucible, a play by Arthur Miller, John Proctor is the tragic hero. A tragic hero is defined as someone who has great courage that ends up dying at the end of the story. The reason John Proctor is the tragic hero of this play is because he has so much to lose. John Proctor fulfills my requirements of a tragic hero throughout the play. He decides to go to court and expose the girls. The girls turn on him and he gets accused. He is only trying to do well, but gets falsely accused. John Proctor is also a very intelligent man who can detect others as being fraudulent, however he…

Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”

Unjust Justice Systems;A comparison of the West Memphis Three and The CrucibleImagine sitting at home one night and having police officers show up at your hose and arrest you for a crime you had no idea was committed. Three teenage boys in West Memphis, Arkansas and over thirty-nine characters in The Crucible went through exactly that. The West memphis three is the trial of three teenage boys who were charged with killing two eight-year-old oys in the woods and leading a hate group. The trial portrayed in The Crucible are based on the real life Salem Witch Trials, the accused in the play were charged with witchcraft. Evidence in both cases was insufficient and mostly eye witnessed. Both crimes committed…

Witchcraft In The Scarlet Letter

Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne continually uses witchcraft and the devil as a theme. Hester Prynne, the main character, emerges from a prison in the first few pages of the book. So from the very beginning, it is known that she has committed a great sin of some kind. Many other characters other than Hester also have a connection with the dark side. It is this association with the devil that eventually brings about the demise of one of the major characters. Although most of the characters are trying to repent during this story, there is still a link between them and the devil throughout the story. Hester Prynne was guilty of adultery. In the Puritan colony of Boston,…

The Crucible by Arthur Miller: Characterization

Arthur Miller was born in New York City on October 17, 1915. Miller composed The Crucible in the early 1950’s and it used the Salem Witchcraft trials of 1692 as a response to the anti-communist “witch hunts” to which miller was accused of. Miller believed that the madness surrounding the witchcraft trials was similar to McCarthy’s mission to terminate communism. The Crucible is set in a government ruled by a religious authority, in which the church and state are one. The major theme of The Crucible is reputation because various characters base their actions on protecting their reputation. In The Crucible, characterization promotes the theme. Major characters in The Crucible are John Proctor, Reverend Hale, Elizabeth Proctor, and Abigail Williams….

Individual Moral Integrity In The Crucible

Individual moral integrity and the lack thereof are illustrated by Arthur Miller in his play, The Crucible. The fear of witchcraft engulfs the Puritanical society thus creating a mob rule. The fate of the town depends upon the morals of its people. John Proctor and Reverend Hale are key players in condemning the Witch Trials; ruling the mob are Abigail, Judge Danforth, and their followers. Even though the trials were intended to end when Salem was cleansed of the alleged witchcraft, it remained the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the majority did not become completely overthrown by mass hysteria. The lack of moral integrity displayed by characters in the play causes a string of destructive events. Because of…

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

In the opening scene of “The Crucible”, the playwright reveals insight into John and Elizabeths troubled marriage through Elizabeths subtle passive-aggressive gestures, Johns incoherent ramblings, and his emotional explosion at the end showing his frustration. Tension between the two immediately increases when John Proctor comes home late. Apparently, Elizabeth knows about Johns extramarital affair with Abigail. Elizabeths annoyance is seen when Proctor states, Oh, is it [a rabbit]! In Jonathans trap? Elizabeth replies sarcastically, No, she walked into the house this afternoon; I found her sittin in the corner like she come to visit.When John gets up and kisses Elizabeth, she rejects him further by sampling receiving his gesture. Disappointed and somewhat aware of his wifes unspoken displeasure, he sits…

Crucible essay

The Crucible takes place in Salem Massachusetts during 1692. It takes place during the tragic time of the so called Salem witch hunts when many innocent people were accused of being a witch or dealing with the devil. As a result of these convictions many people confessed to save their lives, others who would not confess to a lie were hung or executed by other methods such as being pressed. The play the Crucible was wrote by Arthur Miller during the “Red Scare”, which was almost parallel with the Salem witch hunts in that many innocent people were accused of actions of communism and espionage that they did not take part in. The Crucible is not so much about a…

Timeless Theme Present in “The Crucible”

One timeless theme found in many pieces of literature is the abuse of power. Many people who are in power, abuse their power, and commonly become corrupt or unjust due to the power. The essence of human nature is to crave power. Along with this craving of power in some humans is the corruptness and injustice when one comes into power or on one’s path to achieving power. This is a timeless theme, as power and human nature have always existed in man’s history. This theme may be observed in Macbeth, a play written by William Shakespeare in the early quarter of the 17th century and set in the 11th century. This can also be observed in The Crucible, written…

The role of the witches in the play “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare has included the witches in the play for several reasons. First, these supernatural beings have an important part in the storyline of the play; without them the play would not be as exciting. Then, they are there to thrill and entertain the audience. Furthermore, Shakespeare included them to please King James. The witches also play a significant part in the moral of the play: witches are not to be trusted. Finally, Modern audiences still find the witches thrilling although many people no longer believe in witchcraft. The witches have an important role in the storyline or plot of the play. They affect Macbeth’s state of mind and encourage him, ultimately, to do actions he would have dubitably done on…

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible In connection to McCarthyism

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” History is a “chronological record of events.” These events, whether positive or tragic, often repeat themselves. The McCarthy Hearings that took place in the 1950’s are a good example of this. The accusations of communism led to a nation-wide hysteria and fear of who was going to be named next. When this was over, the hope would be that nothing like it would ever happen again and nothing like it had ever happened before. However, we have not only repeated it on various occasions, but through Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, we also see the parallel of the event with the Salem Witch hunts that took place years before the…

Causes and Effects of the Salem Witch Trials

1692 in Salem, Massachusetts was a time of fear, allegation, and deceit. It was the time of the Salem witch trials. Family feuds, eccentric personalities, and even keeping dolls in your home were reasons for accusations. Fueled by religious fanatics and young girls screaming for attention, literally, no one was safe from the insanity of the witch-hunt. This paper is intended to discuss the causes of this hysteria, some of the trials that took place during the year 1692, and what finally stopped the madness of the witch-hunt. The Salem witch trials were fueled by many different things, but the beginning of this hysteria can be traced back to a small group of girls in Salem Village. Betty Parris, a…

Symbolism in the Crucible

The Doll – What original started of as an innocent gift from a scared little girl turned into tangible evidence to put poor Mrs. Goody Proctor away for good. Mary Warren, a feeble minded follower who almost has a heart, manages to do something admirable by making Goody Proctor a nice doll. Later in the novel Abigail Williams accuses Goody of witchcraft. The deciding factor that convicts Goody is the doll. Dolls have always been associated with evil, witchcraft, and voodoo. Overall, the doll usually something sweet and caring, instead is represented by evil disguised by innocence or just play old fashion witchcraft The Crucible – A crucible can be defined as a few different things. One of the two…

Macbeth was basically a good man lead into evil ways

The statement ‘Macbeth was basically a good man led into evil ways’ is one I agree with, to a certain extent. His evilness certainly progressed throughout the play, but his influences from the witches and Lady Macbeth and degree of goodness at the start is debatable. I shall also discuss the reasons for his destruction, which ties in the plays themes – for example ambition, order and disorder and guilt and conscience. The play opens with a scene of disorder – lightning and a coven of witches. This really sets the scene for the rest of the play. The disorder finally reflects on Macbeth, therefore leading to his destruction. When we watch the first scene we wonder how big a…

Allusions in Arthur Millers “The Crucible”

The Crucible contains many allusions, which is a reference to something supposed to be known, but not explicitly mentioned; a covert indication; indirect reference. Miller uses allusions to convey the theological beliefs and religious convictions of his characters. There is chaos in the town after the people there find out that there might be witches that inhabited the village. Abigail and her friends are accusing people of being possessed by demons. When Hale shows up he is convinced that there are witches in the town and believes Abigail. As Abigail walks through the crowd of people surrounding the courtroom where a meeting is being held all the people disperse away from her creating a pathway. In the Old Testament Moses…

Play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller is a play set during thte hysteria of the Salem witch trials of 1692. The word “crucible” is defined as “a severe test” or “a container for melting or purifying metals.” The title of this play is incredibly appropriate because the charactersin the play were faced with a great test while attempting to purify their community. WHen faced with a conflict, the citizens of Salem begin to act on basic animal instincts, and their true colors shine through. The word “crucible” is appropriate because the intention of the court was to purge the town of Salem of any evil beings, but the court only created a way for wrong-doers to go unpunished and those who…

“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller set his play “The Crucible” in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692. The story revolves around a farmer John Proctor and his community, devastated by allegations of witchcraft. The play begins with a group of young girls being discovered to have been dancing in the forest. Fearing the consequences of what they did, the girls begin to lie about their actions. When one of the girls falls ill, accusation of witchery becomes their escape from suspicion. This coincidence only helps exceed the villagers’ beliefs of supernatural possession. Abigail Williams, the prime motivator behind these series of events, takes this opportunity to accuse Elizabeth, the wife of John Proctor, of practicing witchcraft. In so doing, she…