The Crucible and Macbeth Critical Lens

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J.W. von Goethe once said, “No two persons regard the world in exactly the same way.” Goethe meant that each person perceives the world and reacts to situations in their own unique ways. Personal experiences mold individuals’ world views, with each view being different. Two literary works that prove this quote to be true are The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Differing world views and reactions to situations are evident in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, set in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600s. The play’s protagonist, John Proctor, sees the underlying sins of his Puritanic community, including his own, amidst a righteous veneer. Regretting his recent affair with young Abigail Williams, Proctor sees little goodness in both himself and the world in general. Abigail Williams, Proctor’s mistress, on the other hand, has a completely different view of the world – seeing it as a playground to gain power and get what she wants, John Proctor. When Abigail creates hysteria over witchcraft that sweeps over Salem, she views the situation as a chance to lie and manipulate to achieve her goals, while John Proctor sees through Abigail’s deceit and views the situation as a childish stunt that could get many innocent townspeople hurt. Proctor’s fears come true when Abigail begins accusing innocent women, including Elizabeth, John Proctor’s wife, of witchcraft, hoping to have Proctor for herself after Elizabeth has been hanged. Abigail sees Salem as full of gullible and easily manipulated pawns in her evil game of self-aggrandizement and in her quest to be with John Proctor. Proctor, however, regards Abigail’s plot as an atrocity and tries to save his wife and the other accused townspeople at all costs. Unlike Abigail, Proctor degrades himself in front of all of his fellow townspeople by admitting his lechery to the court in an attempt

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