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An Individual's Achievement of Self-Knowledge

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 2 (419 words)
Categories: Achievement, Self
Downloads: 48
Views: 10

A study of the theme of achievement of self-knowledge in the play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.

An Individual’s Achievement of Self-Knowledge An important theme is an individual’s achievement of self-knowledge as a result of undergoing an ordeal. As Rev. Hale sits through the proceedings of the court in the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, his views change drastically. When Rev. Hale first arrives in Salem, he is very objective about the whole situation of witchery.

He questions Tituba and Abigail about all the events that occurred in the forest such as the girls’ dancing and the frog in the kettle. He firmly believes that witchery was involved in causing the unresponsive condition of Betty Parris. He coaxes a confession from Tituba who names others supposedly involved in consorting with the Devil. He strongly encourages the authority of the Church to seek out and convict any unknown enemies of the Church.

The Salem witchcraft trials began as a result. At first, only the poor and lower classes were accused, but soon respectable members of the community such as Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor were charged. Hale’s personal feelings tell him that they are innocent, but his Puritan background prevents him from questioning the authority of the court. As the play progresses, Hale begins to alter his views about the trials. He suggests that John Proctor should have a lawyer, but this request is denied by Danforth. He claims that a lawyer is not necessary because only the demon and the witness are important. Actually, he is conveying that the court alone will decide on the witness’ probity based on his own words. Hale realizes that John Proctor is an honest man when he would willingly ruin his own reputation in the hopes of exposing Abigail as a whore. He absolutely cannot believe that the court won’t accept his testimony as the truth. Hale thinks that the children are irresponsible fakers. He denounces the entire proceeding and leaves. Ironically, Rev. Hale returns to Salem to encourage the accused to lie in order to save their lives. The documentation above shows that Hale’s beliefs changed dramatically as a result of the injustices of the court. He became a man of reason who experienced a growth in knowledge and had the courage to stand up for what he believed in, even though his individualistic view opposed the teachings of Puritan society. Unfortunately, his courage could not save John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, or the countless others who were unjustly tried, tortured, and hanged.

Cite this essay

An Individual’s Achievement of Self-Knowledge. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/an-individuals-achievement-of-self-knowledge-new-essay

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