The Salem Witch Trials Vs.. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: Deborah Livingston The Salem Witch Trials In 1 692 had a significant Impression on American History and the Massachusetts Colony of Salem. 20 people were killed In the midst of this tragedy; 19 were hanged and one was crushed to death. Researchers still have heated discussions about the cause and effect of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. This article analyzes the historical accuracy of “The Crucible” and the actual events that occurred within the time of the trials.
There were many causes that spurred this string of events; “fears, desires and reed,” combined with the religious stranglehold and lack of medical knowledge are mainly responsible for the misguided massacre (Livingston). The economic conditions and disagreements between the members of the church stressed the community to hysterics, and this was also largely responsible for this augmented mishap. The entire reason this travesty of Justice was possible In the beginning was the establishment of anta-healthcare laws In England In 1641.
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They made It not only illegal to practice witchcraft, but it was also punishable by death to be Involved. The first events that unfolded to start the dominoes falling was the curious illness of Betty Paris. Her constant spasms and erratic twitches led the local physician, Dry. Grips to believe that she was practicing witchcraft. Soon after this, there were other strange symptoms seen within many other young women, Including Elizabeth Hubbard, who was twelve.
She was forced to divulge an explanation to why she acted so bizarrely; she blamed Tuba, an Indian slave from Barbados, and two other girls, Sarah Osborne, Sarah Good. The situation that was coming about brought an Idea to Governor Phips to establish an entire court for specifically witchcraft trials. The first volt of the trials was Bridget Bishop, who was an old lady, she was accused, and because the accused are not allowed to have lawyers or representation, It made It almost Impossible to escape the accusations. He was charged with the capital crime of Witchcraft and was hung on June 10th, 1692. Giles Corey refused to stand trial because he believed conviction could mean that his property could go to his family members, but unfortunately, he learned that the punishment for refusal was to be crushed to death. After two days, Corey succumbed to the punishment. Abigail Williams, who was twelve and one of the chief accusers, pointed fingers at 41 Calamities.
The 7 people, to which testimony was given by Williams were as follows: John and Elizabeth Proctor, Bridget Bishop, Martha Corey, George Burroughs, and Rebecca Nurse. The Cellmates were accused of witchcraft for a list of reasons. Elizabeth Proctor was accused because Abigail Williams desired to get rid of her to be with John. Goody Glover was accused because many children who were around her got sick, and John Proctor was accused because he refused the examination of his pregnant Elizabeth, who was charged to witchcraft .
The summation to these reasons boils down to this: The poorer citizens could benefit greatly from the conviction of richer people, as the convicted are forced to forfeit all of their property to the community after they are put to death, so the lower class were motivated to give crazy explanations to accuse many richer people to earn their belongings. Magistrates John Hawthorne and Jonathan Corning, along with Judge William Sought, Cotton Matter and Samuel Swell, who were all avid witch hunters, were all members of the court.
Cotton Matter (who didn’t appear in the Crucible) made it acceptable to provide evidence that supports accusations of witchcraft. The Witchcraft Trials lasted less than a year, but it has affected the 300 or more years following the events and the happenings have caused many ripples in the sea of history. A perspective that indicated the real events that unfolded in Salem was the about the many social groups and their financial and economic situations. Most of the ones ho were indicted had residency in the South quadrant of Salem, where the rich folk tended to be housed.
The poorer people sought to take away the land of the rich by convicting them of witchcraft. A church split pertaining to the religious doctrine caused the rich and the poor to turn against each other. These two instances can well explain the events within the trials and the motives of the Calamities. After the Salem Witch Trials blew over, the people of the town began to apologize for what all happened during the trials; Judge Samuel Swell even published an apology letter for the entire town to see, admitting his wrongful actions with witch hunting.
There were a few things in The Crucible that were inaccurate compared to the historical accounts. The most notable thing that Arthur Miller changed about his story is that Abigail was 17, but realistically, she was 12. This was to make the reader more comfortable with reading the story. Another misinformation is the fact that Tuba was an African slave instead of an Indian slave. Miller also Just left a few characters out of his story; Cotton Matter, one of the court Judges, did not appear in he play, as well as some other people who were most notably accused by Abigail.
There wasn’t a character in the play though that was not mentioned in history, but he assigned different motives to different characters to make the play more interesting. In conclusion, the Salem Witch Trials give us a clear reminder that we should do our part in society and prevent the court system from corruption. We should collaborate and coexist, being unconcerned about the actions of others, or we will certainly repeat the horrific events that happened within 1692.