The Crucible is recognized by many as one of the bestplays ever written. It was written by Arthur Miller in 1953 dramatizing thelife of the people of Salem, a village in Massachusetts mainly focusing on thewitch trials.
The play has been performed many times, and a movie based on theplay has been acted showing how the play was popular. The author was influencedby the campaigns that were aimed at removing Communists from America’sprominent arenas such as Hollywood that impacted him personally andprofessionally, (Greenfield et al,100-160). The characters in the play use the real names of the real victims andvillains in the Salem trials although the author made a few changes to make itmore interesting and real. The play brings out the roles and positions ofdifferent people in the society in the seventeenth century including women andmen. This articles analyses the play to show the role played by women and howwomen were portrayed in the drama.
Miller portrays women as weak creatures who are alwaysexpected to submit to men and can only ascend to power through deceitful means.The play does not give any woman extreme powers that they can use rightfully inthe society. The truthful and honest women such as Elizabeth Proctor andRebecca Nurse in the play are depicted to be less powerful than other women whouse lies to manipulate people,(Bartleby.com, 2017). Abigail not only uses liesto convince people to believe her but her good looks also make men believe her.Mary Warren turns against Proctor to protect herself which leads to him beingarrested, (Miller, 2-33), . The main quality associated with women wassubmissiveness where they were expected to submit to the authority and confessof their crimes,(Bartleby.
com, 2017). The author tries to describe how peoplein those days looked down upon power in the hands of women and how such powerwas feared since women did not know how to use it. According to Lawrence Kohlberg theory of moraldevelopment, human beings progress consecutively through different stages ofmoral development. The theory includesthree phases starting with pre-moral stages which includes punishment andobedience where an individual does anything that can enable to avoid punishment,(Pegasus.
cc.ucf.edu,2017). In the play, Abigail and Warren used lies to avoid punishment althoughElizabeth chose obedience even if it came with punishment. The phase alsoinvolves instrumental exchange stage where individuals do unto others as theydid unto them.
This can be seen in the play where Abigail accuses the Proctorsof witchcraft because she had slept with Proctor. The second phase isconventional morality which involves interpersonal conformity and law and orderthat relates to what individuals do to be socially acceptable,(Pegasus.cc.ucf.
edu,2017). Abigail and Warren lie to protect themselves when they know it is notaccepted in the society. Other girls including Warren started naming peoplewith witchcraft in the society because Abigail had named others. The last phaseis called principled morality and involves stages such as prior right anduniversal ethical principles. The stages explain why individuals chose to dojust thing given all the circumstances like when Elizabeth lied in order to saveher husband.