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The Crucible

            In Arthur Miller's, "The Crucible," many themes are expressed throughout the play. Themes are the undertone of the story. A theme of a book usually sets the mood and describes what is happening during the time that the story is written. "The Crucible" has many themes that show how everything was and how everyone acted in the year of 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts. Mass hysteria is the most obvious theme in the story. Mass hysteria is represented everywhere trouble was. One example is at the end of act one when the girls are screaming, crying, and starting to accuse people of being with the devil. When this happens, everyone gets scared and calls the marshal. The marshal begins to arrest people and brings them to court. The whole reason mass hysteria broke out is because of Abigail. One vengeful accusation from Abigail to her rival, Elizabeth Proctor, turns the whole village upside down. This confusion and madness is one of the main reasons so many lives were taken at the trials. This becomes a place where reasonable human beings can become released in an environment that allows little opportunity for relaxing. Another theme during the play is how much religion ruled these peoples lives. The court was the main ruling body of justice and was run by the church. The concept of justice in 1692 is shown when Arthur Miller dedicates the entire third act to the courtroom. Abigail pressures the girls to lie in court in order to accuse everyone that they didn't get along with of witchcraft. The separation of church and government didn't exist in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Theocracy meant that Massachusetts was to be governed by God's laws. But this mixing up of the laws of God and the laws of government set up the chaos of the Salem witch trials. Greed and revenge was another major aspect that was shown in the story. Several characters find profit in this mass hysteria and try to change some events for their own needs and well-being.

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