Fear In Plays Arthur Miller Narrative Essay

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Fear can lead to a lot of things, however in humans it usually ends with something bad. Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible shows this in multiple occasions. The play’s characters choices and final decisions gives examples of how fear can steer peoples actions into dishonesty and wrong judgement. Through emotion.

Fearful of gaining a bad social status or being hanged because of the events in the forest Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft. Scared that all Abigail’s lies will come out she accuses Mary Warren involved in the witchcraft. Mary Warren afraid of being hanged admits to witchcraft and accuses John Proctor as being “the devil’s man”. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller portrays fear as a negative trait that causes people to lie and accuse others to keep themselves alive from fear of death.

Abigail Williams is the vehicle that drives the play, she bears most of the responsibility for the girls meeting in the woods with Tituba and when parris discovers them in the woods she tries to conceal her behavior because it will reveal her affair with Proctor if she confessed to casting a spell on Goody Proctor. “And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do”.

When Abigail says she will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder them she is threatening the girls to keep their mouths shut so they won’t tell her secret and shame her name. Abigail wants the chaos of a witch hunt to ensue. If the girls spoke up Abigail would be caught and John Proctor’s wife Elizabeth would not have to pay for “stealing” John.

Abigail’s use of fear is negative in this instance because it forces the girls to lie, regardless of the truth, for Abigails own selfish and personal reasons. So in this case, Abigail using fear to the girls causing them to lie creates chaos through salem.If the girls would’ve spoke up without being afraid of Abigail, things would be different. In the end, Abigail’s threats and accusations portray as a negative trait , however her actions and decisions bring fear and other wrongful decisions to be made throughout the play.

Abigail also shows fear as a negative trait when she accuses Elizabeth Proctor’s spirit of stabbing her while eating at Parris’s house with a needle. “Conjures me? Why, no sir, I am entirely myself, I think. Let you ask Susanna Walcott-She saw me sewin’ it in court. Or better still: Ask Abby, Abby sat beside me when i made it.”.

Mary says Abigail saw her and sat right beside her while she was making the rag doll. Even after Mary says this they still take Elizabeth into custody. Proctor tells Mary she must testify in court against Abigail, however she is afraid to testify against Abigail because she fears that Abigail and the others will turn against her.

If Mary would have testified Against Abigail instead of fearing Abigail she would have let other see Abigails evil plan and wrongful accusations she has made and are doing now. Abigails using fear in Mary is negative here because she is accusing Elizabeth for stabbing her when Elizabeth is innocent. In this case, Abigail’s weapon of fear is creating harm to innocent people who don’t deserve it and to her enemies. But fear is also in Abigail.

Abigail and mercy both portray fear in this play. Abigail and Mercy stole Pasrris’s money and flee because Abigail can no longer have what she wants, John Proctor. The only reason Abigail got involved in witchcraft was to get rid of Elizabeth and have john Proctor to herself, and become his wife.

Once Abigail sees that Proctor is to die for being in league with the devil, she realizes there is nothing left for her in salem and she senses that the tide will soon turn on her in salem. Abigail and Mercy are afraid of the retribution that will come to salem, so they both run for their lives out of fear. “Excellency. It profit nothing you should blame me.

I cannot think they would run off except that they fear to keep in salem anymore. Mark it sir, Abigail had a close knowledge of the town and since the news of Andover has broken here”. Parris says that Abigail knew what was going to happen in salem, she was so afraid of her punishment and ran away.

She knew her decisions and consequences and she didn’t want to face them, so out of fear she fled. This shows fear as a negative trait because Abigail fled out of fear, however left the chaos behind her without caring about all the innocent people in salem.

Fear in humans doesn’t always have a good outcome despite the circumstances, fear is shown as a negative trait throughout Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible.The girls who kept quiet about the truth hurt and killed a lot of innocent people in salem. Mary Warren was one of many girls who didn’t speak out against Abigail or the court she was a timid and not very confident girl.


If she would’ve spoke out against Abigail, many innocent people would have been saved. But her fear overpowered what was morally and ethically right. Also Abigail used fear to control others and get rid of her enemies. For her own selfish reasons the truth was hidden and many accusations were made that were not the truth. If any one out of the girls would have stood up against Abigail, the court, or any authority figures. The truth would have come out and justice would have been served.

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Fear In Plays Arthur Miller Narrative Essay. (2020, Sep 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/fear-in-plays-arthur-miller/



How does Arthur Miller show fear in The Crucible?
Arthur Miller shows fear in The Crucible through the use of dramatic irony, where the audience knows the truth but the characters do not, and through the portrayal of characters' paranoia and hysteria, which leads them to make irrational decisions and accusations. The fear of the unknown and the fear of being accused of witchcraft also contribute to the overall atmosphere of fear in the play.
Is fear harmful in The Crucible?
No, fear is not harmful in The Crucible. Fear is a natural emotion that helps to keep us safe from harm.
What is the general fear in The Crucible?
The general fear in The Crucible is the fear of the unknown. The people of Salem are afraid of what they cannot see or understand, and this fear leads to the witch trials.
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