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The Theme Of Revenge In “The Crucible”

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Revenge is often characterized as getting payback on a person or thing in order to gain self satisfaction. People sometimes go through extreme troubles in order to get revenge. The theme of revenge plays an important part in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. It directly affects the actions and emotions of the characters, and the mood of the play.

Often, people get the need to vent personal anger towards someone, and they look towards revenge to fulfill their wishes. In the play, the characters get revenge on their fellow townspeople by accusing them of being involved with witchcraft. By doing this, they use the church as a medium for persecution and aren’t directly involved with the almost certain death of the accused. Even though no witchcraft was really ever practiced, if one plead guilty they would not be killed. Although they have, in turn, saved their own life, they have committed a moral sin.

As the characters are faced with such a difficult decision, they are faced with the dilemma of lying to save their life, or standing up for what they believe in and dying. This problem affects the characters mentally and emotionally. Among the accused were John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse. These two people had the courage that it took to stand up for their beliefs and ultimately died because of it. Throughout the play the townspeople of Salem are terrorized by the fear of being accused. They soon become scared of life itself. The people no longer know how to live a normal life and carry out their duties freely, as they are persecuted by their peers for any, and every reason.

The theme of revenge greatly affects the mood of the play as well. As the play starts out there is a general feeling of mischief in the air, but as the events unfold this mischief turns to utter spite and revenge. As the characters blame their foes of practicing witchcraft, a sense of darkness seems to come over the town of Salem. Innocent people are accused by the dozens, many of them dying because they stood up for their belief in God and would not lie.

Given these facts, the theme of revenge reeks havoc among the Puritans of Salem, Massachusetts. Constantly being threatened by death has an adverse effect on the people. This directly affects the mood and tone of the play. The actions of characters such as John Proctor and Rebecca Nurse instill a great moral in the reader by showing them that if you are firm in your beliefs of God nothing can harm you. Ultimately, these actions speak louder than words, and in the end, it is God who will have the final revenge.

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