Revenge – Revenge is the basis of The Crucible, for accusing someone of witchcraft was an easy way to get back at them. In a way, it was cleansing a society of people who were thought to be immoral or unethical. If anyone had a grudge against someone, they would accuse them of witchcraft and the only way to get out of it would be to lie and confess. A good example of revenge is with Abigail and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is John Proctor’s wife, but Abigail is in love with John and wants to be with him.
She knows that if she could get Elizabeth out of the picture, she would have a good shot at John.
Hysteria – The theme of hysteria plays an important role in The Crucible, because everything that is good and true is lost in the throes of hysteria. People stop thinking logically and give in to the panic of the times. Hysteria is shown most prominently in the scene where the girls begin screaming out names of various people, accusing them of witchcraft.
Everyone starts panicking and getting excited, no one paying any attention to the logical side of things. Suppression – Suppression is an important theme in the play because the people of Salem had their individual freedoms suppressed.
The reason the children were so afflicted was not because of witchcraft, but because they were not able to be children otherwise. They were expected to be quiet, not heard, only seen. It is also best shown when the judges insist that Proctor’s confession be signed and posted on the church door.
Proctor resists this, but the judges say they will not accept the confession without this term. Proctor’s individual freedom was suppressed. Also, since the only way to prevent being hanged was to lie about being a witch, their freedom to tell the truth was being suppressed.