The definition of judgement according to Encarta Encyclopedia, is the formation of an opinion. It is a simple definition, clear and direct. Although, there is more to the word judgement than meets the eye. What about the last word in the definition? What is an opinion? An opinion is described as a belief or conclusion that is held without any substantial proof. That word might not seem to have too much significance at this very moment, but it did back in 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, during the witch scare. Making a judgement on somebody may seem harmless, but it can be very destructive. The citizens of Salem made judgements on their neighbors, forming opinions that they might be witches. Those solitary judgements led to many peoples" deaths, and guess what. Their judgements of witchcraft were wrong. Arthur Miller gives people some insight into the Salem witch trials in his play, The Crucible, which shows how peoples" poor judgement led to hysteria and tragedy in the community of Salem. It also shows how the people changed because of this witch scare that ran furiously through the town. Elizabeth Proctor is one of these people, who undergoes a major change because of the events that occurred in Salem. In the beginning, she forms an unfair opinion of her husband, John. She finds it very hard to forgive him for certain actions. At the very end she ultimately has a change of heart, realizing the potential destruction and harm of her judgments. She realizes that she is not the one to be faultfinding of John and says she will not judge him regardless of what he does or decides to do. Now that is all well and good, but she didn"t just all of a sudden change her mind on the issue. She didn"t just all at once receive some divine wisdom that she was wrong. There are many factors that changed her mind and that led to her new perception of judgement. .
Explaining this switch of mind frame that Elizabeth underwent needs some description of what actually happened to make her judge John the way she did in the first place.