Uploaded by Admin on Feb 21, 2001
Circumstances cause adaptation. Drastic circumstances cause drastic adaptation. The Salem witch trials of 1692 were definitely drastic circumstances. Society's hysteria, greed, and vengeance led to accusations that changed many lives, even changed some of those lives to death. Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend John Hale, and John Proctor were three characters that were altered during Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
Elizabeth Proctor is a kind, intelligent, almost joyless woman that has evidently been ill in the past. Around her husband, she is virtually nervous and replies to his questions and statements quickly to please him. In their discussions, her suspicion of his honesty is brought to question, but she draws back hastily due to her still unwavering loyalty to her husband. When Rev. Hale visits the Proctor home to challenge their Christianity, she is defensive but clear in proving to Hale that she runs a Christian household. Later, when Cheever comes with a warrant to take her, Elizabeth is outraged and knows the reason she is being charged, Abigail! "The girl is murder! She must be ripped out of the world!" However, she calms and submits to go to the court and says "[she] will fear nothing." The change takes place while in prison. Through the experience she is even more strong-willed and compassionate. At the end when she speaks with her husband, she shows love and is sorry she kept a cold house. "John, ...no honest love could come to me...I never knew how I should say my love. It were a cold house I kept!" The transformation made her an even more positive woman.
Reverend John Hale's metamorphosis was perhaps the most eminent. He is initially viewed as an arrogant, erudite minister that has all the answers. "[He] is nearing forty, a tight-skinned, eagar-eyed, intellectual." He is proud that he has been called as an expert on witches. He quickly finds, however, that his books are not as equipped as he thought. One good quality of Rev. Hale at the beginning is that he is an outsider. He has no bonds of friendship or personal disputes with any townspeople. He does, though cling to and defend the court. To get to know the people better, especially the ones mentioned in court, he interrogates them to bring out the truth. The scene when Cheever takes Elizabeth is where Hale starts to pivot from darkness to light. It is not until Act III, though; he...