Can a liar hate a liar?

Personal Response: The Crucible

Prose form: Journal entry

Characters perspective, Tituba

 

Greetings, my paper companion,

Can a liar hate a liar? That is my waking thought this morning.

Compulsive liars is what they are. They’re all just a bunch of cowards, blaming others without any good reason. Never an ounce of truth that comes from these young girls’ mouths. You see, I confessed to committing witchcraft; only because I’m not an idiot. It was either that or they’d hang me. Seeing as I’m from Barbados, where voodoo is practiced, I’d be the usual suspect anyway. Besides, I’m nothing more than a slave, no one would’ve believed me, had I denied the accusations. But all these girls, lying to protect themselves and risking the lives of harmless, innocent people… how selfish?

All these deaths that could’ve been avoided derived from one little liar and her group of followers. Abby lies about, well, just about everything. From the second she was asked about what happened in the woods to the day she shuts down John Proctor’s story in the court room. I genuinely cared about this precious girl, till I realized how much of a conniving schemer she was. First she denies any allegations of dancing in the woods, which is “forbidden”. Then she refuses to even acknowledge the fact that she did ask me to use my working knowledge of voodoo to cast spells on people that the girls had personal vendettas against. The lying doesn’t stop here, nope. Abigail, being the leader of this group of girls because she is able to manipulate them into advocating for her every lie, begins to pretend they are being “witched”. As well as accusing the townsfolk of “sending out their spirits”. Lie after lie after lie! All of these lies so the people will see the girls merely as victims. Also because Abby wants that John Proctor guy to herself. I told you, selfish. However, I have to give credit where it is due, the girl is a very creative liar.

Lest we forget, the group of delinquent girls that obey every one of the delusional Abigail’s demands. How idiotic does one have to be in order to not realize they could’ve potentially over powered Abigail and ratted her out to save themselves? But I kinda see where they’re coming from… if they turned on Abigail, she’d seek revenge on them. And we all know how powerful Abigail has become, she’d probably conjure up a plan and frame them all of being witches. That little Mary girl might be the only honest soul in this whole conundrum. She ends up testifying that her and the rest of the girls were only pretending to be agonized by witchcraft. But technically she only confesses out of fear, so thats not exactly pure honesty… is it? Mhmm, still a liar.

I guess I’m being a bit hypocritical here… after all, I did accuse Goody Goody and Goody Osborn to lessen my own punishment. But hey, every liar for himself right?

 

 

There is a Fine Line between Passion and Obsession

Prompt: What idea does the author develop regarding ruling passion?

There is only one force on this planet that every individual posseses that steers them in the direction in which their life must travel- that one force is passion. In William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Macbeth,  passion is depicted in more ways than one, which causes significant changes in character and moral. Passion is the one element in which there isn’t a lack in a person; certain people have passion in areas that the person next to them doesn’t, but it is still present. Every individual on this planet has the same amount of passion as the next, it all just depends on where it is going and how it is being used. Symptoms of passion ruling over an individual is implusivity, a siginificant change in character, and also a sudden drive to accomplish whatever goal the individual has in mind. In Macbeth, passion is the key ingredient for many characters to gain whatever they desire, which causes them to also lose something valuable. It takes a loss to strive for the gain. This is seen when an individual is put in  a situation where their passion is a possibility to obtain, their moral compass becomes impaired and lose their self in the process. In William Shakespeare’ s acclaimed piece, Macbeth, he uses the character of Lady Macbeth  and her passion for power to portray how with her greed and despiration, she obtains her role as the Queen of Scotland while using her powers of deception and emotional blackmail to eventually causes her to lose herself completely.

With a high position and status comes power, and with power comes responsibiliity, but to what extent? In regards to Lady Macbeth, ever since she recieved that letter from her husband, she had no hesitation in making sure that all of her ambitions came to life. In the text, she says, “That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, to cry, ‘Hold, hold!'” (Act 1, scene 5, lines 55-58, pg. 41). What this quote is exibiting is her manipulative nature and cunning methods coming out of the shadows. Lady Macbeth has been known for her composure and her class, so for her to go through such a devious plan, and leave messy was not an option. She had a plan that was so quick, and so out of character that no one would expect that she, herself thought of it. This was the first sign of her passion starting to take over her. For someone to think of such an evil and detailed plan on the spot is, without a doubt, a sign for some sort of abnormality. Lady Macbeth was already used to being basked in the name of her husband, and it was because of this name that she craved for more. She wanted more fame, more fortune, she wanted to possess what any queen would possess, and that was power. While the king would have power over the land, the queen would have the power over everything inside of it. She would have the power over the servants, the money, anything that could benefit her in any way. This lust for power is what drove her actions, and drove her towards insanity. She could not contain her longing for this no matter how much she tried, and every day she was without it, it grew and grew and grew into something uncontrollable. The closer she got to her goal, the more her passion took over her. While she got closer and closer to her final destination, she would eventually slip away into an abyss of darkness.

When an individual obtains, or is around, an abundant amount of their deepest desires, whatever they gain afterwards turns into a craving for more. Possessing too much of something is never healthy physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Respectively, with Lady Macbeth, she experiences moments in the piece when she is so close to achieving her goals, or of accomplishing a vital step in doing so, and an obstacle comes around to knock her down. These recurring events have caused her to remain paranoid and distraught whenever dealing with her goal. “Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers: the sleeping, and the dead are but as pictures; ’tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted evil.” (Act 2 scene 3, lines 68-70, pg. 83). What this quote represents is how Lady Macbeth was so close to finally feeling like she and her husband accomplished something right, but it all came crashing down when she saw that she was wrong. It was her despiration for maintaining that point of achieving her goal that made her do the dirty work herself and go put the murder weapons back herself. Once again, this is extremely out of character for Lady Macbeth to do such a thing purely out of impulsivity. Before this moment, Lady Macbeth thought out every possible detail of a plan, so that there was no room for any mistakes, and she was put in a situation where this one thing could have, potentially, destroyed them both if caught. Her drive for power and her passion came together in that splur of a moment and caused her to get blood on her own hands. When she was putting the daggers themselves back, she was constantly looking at the bigger picture for herself. She did not stop and take the time to reflect on her actions and what was happening to her. It was how she did not belive that what she was doing was wrong, and when seh did get a taste, she would push it aside. She belived that her actions weren’t turning her into something that she is not, and they were not turning her into evil. But then again, does someone who is evil believe that they are such a thing in the first place?

Sacrifice is a point in an individual’s life that can determine whether they are willing to lose everything that they possess for one, prime focus, or whether the person would maintain whatever they possess and adapt with those for life. Which is worth it? That was the question Lady Macbeth had when she was at the final stages of her life and whether or not all of the strain she had was worth it in the end. While she ended up passing away, it was not caused just by stress. It was guilt. “What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him!” (Act 5, scene 1, lines 34-37, pg. 213). She convinced her husband to commit a crime, and take the life of an innocent individual for a higher position in power. The worst for her was that she saw her husband, a man who was all morals and no greed turn to darkness in order for him to achieve what he desired. He aquired that from her. All of that guilt built up, and up, and up until it manifested itself into her finding her own sudden death. The only way that she was able to relieve the guilt she possessed was when she would sleepwalk at night, and relive all of the events that tore apart her sanity. Even that was not enough. This was final, and most horrible consequence that came with her passion for success and power, and in the end, it was most definitely not worth it.

Passion is a force that can insigate, lead, and potentially rid an individual of their deepest desires. This is seen many times in Macbeth with Lady Macbeth and her constant drive to gain more power than she already possessed. It started with her wishing for all of her maternal instincts to disappear so that she would be able to do the job as efficiently and as emotionless as she possibly could. Also, when she takes matters into her own hands because she was at apoint where she could not let anything stop her from her dream. Finally, when she eventually passes and all of the things that she strived for left her when she left that life. These were all outcomes of her passion in the forms of greed, deception, manipulation, and power. While her passion was pure, and it was clear and concise, her actions, in order to achieve her passion, were the things that drove her far off the path of sanity, morality, and also stained her for life. When this applies to an individual’s life, all passion an individual possesses is pure. It continues to remain pure because it is that one goal and one dream. The thing that hurts an indivdual with their passion is the actions they take in the process of attempting to get to their passion. It is these very actions that determine the fate of the individual, and while these actions can be pure and good, they have also been proven to be detrimental towards them. It is up to the individual whether on they decide to make their journey and struggle but worth it, or easy and and consequential.

The Man Who Cannot Die.

Love, as powerful as it is, can be found almost anywhere and everywhere. The East-Indian movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long As There Is Life) directed by famous Bollywood director, Yash Chopra is a movie which exemplifies love to its extreme. “This is not a story of courage. It’s not a story of … miracles. Its just a simply story of love. Undying love, that a man had for a woman, unflinching love that a woman had for a man, and unending faith that god had on their love. “(Quote taken from the film)

A young immigrant, struggling to find his identity in London falls in love with a beauteous woman, the moment his eyes meet with hers. The relationship between the two start to grow stronger, eventually creating a tragic breakup, due to a vow the woman makes to god. The man is astonished to hear this, and is flustered with emotions on what to do, that he makes an unrealistic decision to move to India, and joins the Indian Army Bomb Squad, where he decides to challenge god by facing death every day.

This movie has an extremely strong connection towards the motif of love, since the whole movie is wrapped around the idea that love is unbreakable, no matter what promises are made. Specifically, in the scene where the promise to god is made, we see that individuals will do anything to protect their loved ones. No matter what occurs in the relationship, it just helps on building the bond stronger and stronger. “Love that breaks you, but still keeps you together. Love that creates distances, but still brings you closer. Love that is true and forever.” (Quote taken from the film) Throughout the entire film, we see this un-ending passion toward the love the two had for each other.

 

Macbeth’s Ambition

In a persons life there is usually one passion that rules over anything else in creating decisions. In the play Macbeth the trait of ambition is most prevalent as a ruling passion. Whether is Macbeth or his wife ambition is the trait that most impacts the decisions that are made.  In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, ambition creates a shift in moral values and the evil nature of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are revealed. This can be seen through Lady Macbeth’s manipulations, and Macbeth’s betrayal of Duncan.

Through questioning Macbeth’s manhood, and tampering with the scene of Duncan’s death it can be seen that Lady Macbeth’s ambition has caused her sense of manipulation to take hold. In act 1 scene 7 when Macbeth decides not to kill the king, Lady Macbeth utters this line “When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would Be so much more the man.” In this line Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth’s manhood and says that only if he kills Duncan will he then be a man. This demonstrates the manipulating character that Lady Macbeth is as she knows that Macbeth feels that being called less of a man is the ultimate insult. In this way she can use his emotions for her own gain. As a result of this Macbeth kills the king and her goal of being queen is realized. Another example of  manipulation due to ambition would be in Act 2 scene 2. In this scene after killing Duncan, Macbeth returns with the bloody daggers. This is further evidenced by the quote “Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures.” Realizing that if they are discovered she will never be queen, Lady Macbeth returns to the guards chamber and plants the daggers. This is an example of manipulation as Lady Macbeth is manipulating a situation for her own benefit. She knows that if they are caught they will hang and as a result her ambition causes her to risk discovery and return to the chamber to frame the guards. This results in the guards being blamed for Duncan’s death and the Macbeths even though they are guilty of the murder are given the throne. Lady Macbeth uses manipulation for her own benefit many times in the play, each time however, is for the same reason her ambition.

Due to ambition Macbeth’s own moral values are abandoned when he realizes that he can kill Duncan and seize power. This is exemplified by the fake loyalty Macbeth displays in act 1 and when he kills Duncan in act 2. In act 1 after the king expresses his gratitude to Macbeth, Macbeth offers these words, “The service and the loyalty I owe /In doing it pays itself.” In this quote Macbeth says he owes it to the king to stay loyal. This is very ironic as the audience knows that Macbeth is in fact thinking of killing Duncan and seizing the throne. Ambition has caused Macbeth’s thought process to shift as before hearing the prophecy Macbeth would have been sincere with these words rather than saying them to deceive the king. As well, now that Macbeth realizes the throne is within reach he is putting on a “mask” in order to seem normal when he is having evil thoughts. Ambition has caused Macbeth to turn from a loyal servant to the king to an ambitious man plotting his death. The other example of this would be when Macbeth finally kills Duncan in Act 2 scene 2. This can be seen by the lines “I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?” In this quote Macbeth tells his wife that he has killed Duncan. This shows how ambition is controlling Macbeth as before he had reason to believe he would be king Macbeth would not have even considered killing Duncan, however, now that he know he will be king Macbeth will do whatever it takes to get to the throne and achieve power. Ambition has taken control of Macbeth and it can be seen that his true evil has been unearthed. By killing Duncan Macbeth has now guaranteed the throne for himself however by doing this his moral values have been lost.

Through the examples of Lady Macbeth’s manipulation, and the killing of the king it can be seen that ambition causes a shift in moral values and evil nature of a character is revealed. Throughout the story ruling passion is a very prevalent idea and drives the story. Without this key idea this story would have been significantly different.

Acting without self-preservation in the face of danger

When forced to choose between the safety of their friends and their own safety, most individuals would take the path of self-preservation. This reaction to danger is one of the darker sides to human nature, and it makes people respect those individuals who choose to protect their friends and thereby put themselves in danger. The setting in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is one where each citizen of Salem is at risk of being persecuted for witchcraft. John Proctor is a character that shines above the rest in his fight against the idea that witches could be anyone, even the most respected individuals. As the threat of this ideology becomes increasingly real, Proctor is forced to make a number of sacrifices to save his friends from the accusations of Abigail Williams and her followers. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller develops the idea that honourable and respected individuals such as John Proctor are able to act without self-preservation when the lives of their friends are in question through perseverance, self-sacrifice, and by never betraying their friends.

If an individual is to act without self-preservation to save his or her friends, he or she must persevere through times when to save oneself is the easiest and most logical thing to do. John Proctor goes to the court once his wife Elizabeth and a number of his friends’ wives have been accused of witchcraft. Judge Danforth tells Proctor that because Elizabeth is now pregnant, she is free from persecution while she carries the baby. Proctor is then asked if he will continue on his ‘crusade’ against the court’s accusations and he replies affirmatively. With his wife’s reprieve, Proctor would have been free to live in peace with his family until the town of Salem returned to normal, but instead he chooses to help his friends. This clearly demonstrates why Proctor is so widely respected because he maintains his course when it would take no effort to save himself. It is important that Proctor chooses to actively assist his friend rather passively let them deal with their own problems. Through his dedication to his friends and the truth, John Proctor proves himself to be a man of honour.

When an individual acts in self-preservation, it is most often because the other option is self-sacrifice. In order to discredit Abigail Williams, the leader of the group girls that is making the accusations, Proctor confesses to adultery with Abigail. Though this is major blow to Abigail’s image, it also dishonours Proctor and blackens his name, one of his few possessions as a farmer. Once he confesses to this crime, Proctor asks the judge, “What kind of man confesses to adultery?” The answer is a man who has a purpose greater than himself. The extent to which Proctor sacrifices himself exemplifies how committed he is to ensuring the safety of his friends. To a honourable man like John Proctor, self-sacrifice is a principle that ensures that his image remains as respectable as possible and that his friends can get the life they deserve.

At the end of the play, Proctor is given a choice between being hanged and betraying his friends. When Proctor shouts, “I want my life” and agrees to sign his name, pleading guilty to witchcraft, he believes that this will simply allow him to go back to his family and live without his honour. Once he discovers that signing his name will incriminate Rebecca Nurse and other respectable and accused individuals, he refuses to give up the contract. This self-condemning action testifies to his honour on a scale even greater than before. Now, Proctor chooses actively against self-preservation when he knows that he will be directly impacted by the decision; he will be hanged for keeping the reputations of his friends intact. This final statement demonstrates how even faced with death, John Proctor fights against his instinctual desire for self-preservation and recognizes that staying true to his friends will communicate to the town a message that will put an end to these horrible times.

When the friends of honourable and respectable heroes such as John Proctor are in danger, these inspiring individuals take the difficult path, sacrifice themselves, and never turn their backs on friends. This ability to resist the path of self-preservation demonstrates a higher character that each individual should aspire to be. In a world where everyone is magnanimous and willing to build others up, people could go about their lives knowing that others would be there to back them up. In this world without violence or negativity, each individual could live up to his of her true potential.

Perspectives on Characters in The Crucible

The Crucible sets a very real conflict of reason against religion, both advocating their perspective on good. On one side there are those who believe that Salem is infested with witches and on the other, there are those who know for a fact that the girls are only pretending. It creates a very tense dynamic of individuals who want nothing more than save themselves and the people they love from the witch craze, and those trying to persecute the so thought witches. Throughout the play, Arthur Miller explores what it truly is to be good and evil, and if that line is truly defined as many of us think. Characters such as Thomas Danforth who believe their moral duties to be to cleanse Massachusetts of witchcraft , unwittingly sentences scores of innocent individuals to their death. Contrastingly, John Proctor has a very conscious dilemma towards the end of the play on whether to lie in order to save himself from the gallows or do one last deed of good and support his fellow prisoners in resisting the witch craze. Every character in Salem in bound by religion to do what is truly right, but the different understandings of good and evil create much of the trouble in the play.

Danforth, as with the Puritans in Salem saw the world divided into clear realms of power: good vs. evil. Ironically to what Danforth said to Hale, he is one of the most bewildered characters in the play. His position of power grants him the ability to convict and execute whoever he deemed evil. However, that line of good and evil, which he thought to be fixed, is in fact movable and permeable. Most of all, what he thought of being evil was actually the opposite of the truth. As Reverend Hale preached ,”…until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven,” the evil in his actions does not confide to him until it is too late. The analogy of the devil and god also applies to the trials in Salem. Lucifer, who was god’s most beautiful angel, disobeyed god. Michael the archangel was sent to kick him out of heaven and thus created Satan. Paradoxically, it was god who created hell. Danforth, who thinks of himself as doing the work of god, similarly creates hell in the town with his unnecessary executions. His belief that he is guided by god leaves him blind to any logical explanations for the girls’ behaviour. Even as Hale announces that that “I am a minister of the Lord, and I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it”, Danforth’s resistance to change  leads him to wrongfully  convict many innocent individuals in Salem.

As a direct consequence of Danforth’s decisions, and partly his own, John Proctor is also dragged into the fray. His past is a perturbation that follows him throughout the play and plays a major role in his eventual failure to save himself and others. The one instance of adultery with Abigail has destroyed his self respect. As Proctor said, “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man,” he feels as a hypocrite advocating good and truth when he knows his heart is blackened by the crime he has committed. Nonetheless, he seems to be the most logical and thoughtful person in the town. He understands the truth and tries to protect it. By tearing up his confession, he sees a chance to redeem himself in his own eyes. He does one last deed of to restore his self respect to the point where he feels worthy to walk with those who will hang for the preservation of good. His relief can be seen as he proclaims, “…I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.” This extrication from guilt can be compared to Amir’s laughter in The Kite Runner as he is almost killed by Assef. Even in the face of death, the freedom from past sins holds greater value than any consequences that might follow. John Proctor plays an integral part in saving others from the executions with his martyrdom.

In a society where the line between good and evil is clear in people’s minds, the reality of the situation is usually much more complicated. Danforth and Proctor, in The Crucible, represent two ends of the spectrum when it comes to religious beliefs, however, they are both trying to protect what they think is good and remove the evil influences in their society. Danforth does this by sentencing the supposed witches to death on the girls’ word. His beliefs blind him from seeing that the girls are pretending. On the other hand, John Proctor, who knows the truth, is paralyzed by his past and refuses to reveal it until it is too late. His loss of self respect causes him to redeem himself in the most important way: self sacrifice. These two characters represent the convoluted nature of good and evil and go against the belief that individuals can be labelled as one or the other.

Ruling Passion Essay

Passion may oftentimes be the driving force for many actions, however, the importance of that force can be very subjective. In Macbeth, Shakespeare makes a very compelling argument using Macbeth’s self-destruction to show the consequences of an individual’s unchecked ambition through corruption. He shows that other’s influences have a major impact in your sense of passion. Also, if left unchecked, the runaway passion can have major implications in an individual’s life.

We often like to think of our passion as an individualistic choice, but the truth is that others have as much impact in spurring your sense of pride and ambition. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth, however ambitious he may be, lacks the affirmation and grit to truly follow through with the witches’ prophecy. Lady Macbeth takes it upon herself to convince Macbeth to murder Duncan. When she sees Macbeth for the first time after the war, she advises him to, ” Look like th’ innocent flower,/But be the serpent under ’t”(1.5.56-57).  When Macbeth seems uncertain about the decision, she proceeded to attack him on a more personal level. She does this by questioning his masculinity and pride which is used as a symbol of courage and status in Macbeth. Macbeth’s reluctance is met with the words,” What beast was ’t, then,/That made you break this enterprise to me?/When you durst do it, then you were a man;”(1.7.47.49) to attack the aspect of Macbeth that he takes the most pride in. It is ultimately Lady Macbeth’s influence that incites Macbeth’s passion and causes the great war hero to proceed with the murder.

On the onset of madness, the drive to achieve overtakes most other rational thoughts and becomes the chief focus of one’s life. In Macbeth’s case, killing Duncan only acted to further his madness for power and caused him to become more paranoid. This lead to his murder of Banquo in cold blood. His indiscretion continues even through his hallucinations which causes him to lose much of his respect among other thanes. The futility of his situation is presented when he says, ” I am in blood/Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,/Returning were as tedious as go o’er”(3.4.135–137). His passion has driven him to a point where he can only proceed farther in his tyranny of Scotland. Even Lady Macbeth, who was previously shown to have great impact on Macbeth’s actions, is unable to bring him back to his senses . Her words, “‘Tis safer to be that which we destroy/Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy”(3.2.8-9) seem to have no impact on Macbeth as he proceed to act without her consent. In this way, Macbeth’s passion turned into an obsession that left him blind to his grim future.

The extreme affirmation in one’s passion eventually leads to the loss of everything you hold dear. The corrupting influence of Macbeth’s ambition eventually lead to his downfall. Once everyone had seen the terrible leader Macbeth can be, his inevitable downfall seems near. As Macbeth said, “Blood will have blood”(3.4.128), the terrible deeds he has done come back to haunt him in deepest consequence. He quickly loses control of the situation as Macduff’s forces advance towards his castle. As Malcolm noticed, “We have met with foes/That strike beside us”(7.2.31-32), even his forces do not follow his command as they realize there is no nobility in fighting for a tyrant. As he finally sees his demise through the death of his wife, he begins to realize his foolishness in taking his ambition too far. He also loses the resolve to proceed as he mourns that life “is a tale /Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing”(5.5.25-27). All these events add up to the emotional end of Macbeth before he is physically murdered by Macduff.

Macbeth’s self-destruction serves to prove Shakespeare’s point that a ruling passion can destroy your sense of self and cause your ultimate downfall. Lady Macbeth’s arguments served as and incitement to Macbeth as she compelled him to murder Duncan against his better judgement. Once Macbeth got the throne, however, he was overtaken by his own maddening drive to rule. The passion that previously drove him to succeed in seemingly hopeless battles and gain much respect is ironically his one flaw that causes him to lose everything. Macduff and Malcolm, who only desire to restore balance to Scotland, have a much clearer understanding of what is right and wrong. Macbeth, on the other hand, with his delirium to quell anyone that stands in his way, loses the support of his thanes soldiers. When he finally comes to the realization that is passion has driven him to his own demise, he is also starring his inevitable death in the eye.

“The Crucible”, A Classic of the American Theater

“The Crucible”, a classic of the American theater written by Arthur Miller, is described by the New York Post as, “A drama of emotional power and impact.”  It certainly is, telling the story of six girls, led by leader Abigail Williams, who accuse numerous women in their village of witchcraft for their own vengeful purposes.  The story takes place in Salem, Massechusetts; famous for its disturbing history of witch trials during the 1800’s.  The play begins with introducing the character of little Betty Parris, who is ill and unresponsive upstairs in  the house of Reverend Parris, her father and the town’s preacher.  As more girls become ill and panic breaks out, there are more accusing fingers pointing towards the possibility of witchery being involved.  The girls who later become the accusers had been caught by Reverend Parris, out dancing in the forest with the voodoo slave Tituba around a pot of something brewing.  They denied all acts of witchcraft or conjuring.

As the play goes on, the six girls led by Abigail begin to accuse certain women in the town of being witches, a very serious infraction back then.  There really was no witchcraft going on, the girls just held grudges against many people and wanted revenge.  “The Crucible” was very much so a story that held a second significant meaning, about how when panic spreads throughout an entire population, people begin to believe impossible truths and rush to explanations and answers.  It also tells a story of grudges and the horrors that a grudge can produce, with innocent people being blamed for upsetting one powerful individual who decides to lie to get revenge.  Women accused were hanged if they did not “confess” to their false accusations, and held in jails where the treatment was poor and eveyone was against them. Once word gets out in a superstitious place about some made-up atrocity, everyone begins to believe it.  Maybe partially out of fear for themselves, or the consequences if they were to stand up against the accusors, but in the end John Proctor was the only character who really stood up for the innocent.  John Proctor was a tragic hero in a way, because in order to go up against the courts, he had to admit his act of adultery with Abigail to his wife and the townspeople.  He would have to confess his own faults in order to save the lives of the innocent, and even then it was not a fool-proof plan.  Sadly in the end, John is sentenced to hang, but not before he does stand up to Judge Danforth about the importance of the one small thing we all need to keep in life.  He cries, “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”  He then refuses to confess to anything, and is sentenced.

One thing I found very confusing about this play was the large array of different characters.  Twenty-one characters in all, it was hard to keep track of who was who while reading the script.  If this play was watched on stage or in a film, with all the characters played by a different person and visibly seen as who they are in the story, it would be much easier to understand and follow.  I also found myself becoming very angry with some of the characters in the play, and asking myself, “Are they that stupid to believe those silly girls who cry witchcraft against their own neighbours?!”  The strict and gullible society was frusterating to even read about at points, and I felt great sympathy towards characters such as John and Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend Hale, as well as Giles and the accused women.  I even felt a little sympathy towards Abigail near the end, when I saw her as more of a frusterated and depressed teenager, in love with a man who was never hers to have.  Although she turned out to be a monstrous and outright liar, causing many of the people she knew to die by hanging, somewhere inside she must have just felt so hollow and unloved that it became her last resort.

After watching the film “The Crucible”, it began to make so much more sense to me and I was able to connect the ideas and events that went on.  I was able to distinguish one character from another, and truly see their roles instead of trying to imagine a different persona for each of the twenty-one characters while reading the script.  The story tells a tale of guilt, vengeance, back-stabbing lies and superstition, mixed in with desire, devotion, and tradgedy.  There are heroes, manipulative liars, religious fanatics, rebels, a voodoo slave, cold judges, and suspicious Reverends, all making up the characters of this play.  For a sometimes puzzling but rewarding read, I would highly suggest “The Crucible.”

 

Passion, Principles, Penitence

Knowing and controlling one’s passion is a complex task and William Shakespeare does an excellent job exploring the outcomes and consequences when one is overruled by determination. Towards the ending of Macbeth, audiences are generally drawn to the conclusion that passion, when overruling one’s conscience, recklessly destroys his or her’s sense of morality which leads to guilt and tragedy. A theme of ruling passion is developed through the play by the power-hungry protagonist and all that he does to try to acquire the fate foretold to him by three witches. But by trying to do so, he becomes enveloped in a passion to rule, a need to have it all and becoming so carried away, he is left with a burden of extreme guilt.

Shakespeare has done an interesting job using Macbeth and the three witches to demonstrate how easily humans could become infatuated with a passion. In the first act, Macbeth was portrayed as an exceptional leader but because he was presented with the ability to discern his future, he became overwhelmed with achieving his goal and doing unnecessary things to keep power. At this point, Shakespeare poses an interesting question to the audience that is built up through the plot: If humans knew what lay ahead, would passion dominate them easier? Knowing things ahead of time could influence your actions and what you could possibly do after. Macbeth’s passion for violence and power briefly peaked prior to meeting the witches but because he now knows what lies ahead for him, he allows his passion to overrule with the assistance of greed and he also believes that his passion is the key to his success. Humans often become infatuated with a passion and become immersed in it, becoming greedy and constantly wanting more. But also, being pre-warned that that passion could be helpful, that the passion might be essential, humans lose their sense of morality and their conscience as well.

Macbeth is constantly enveloped by a negative ruling passion and it heavily influences his sense of morality and judgment. Macbeth initially had the help of Lady Macbeth to assist him in losing control of his morals. She calmly but surely talked him into killing his cousin, the king. Lady Macbeth inadvertently did something that created Macbeth into the monster he is: she encouraged Macbeth and made him feel as if his passion has a positive influence. Which leads to Macbeth being dominated by his hunger for power; he no longer needs Lady Macbeth to tell him what to do and he often left her in the dark as he carries on with his wrongful doings. Macbeth’s ruling passion is a need for power. He is endlessly craving power. Though he ends up with the throne, he constantly feels threatened by Banquo and Fleance. Since Macbeth’s passion has overtaken his conscience and morals, he feels as if violence is the answer to all questions as long as the question relates to power and the throne. Macbeth, in the beginning, would have never even considered killing his cousin or his best friend for power. But because his passion for power controls him, his morals are forgotten and he becomes enveloped in violence and slaughter which eventually leads to his demise.

Our conscience and morality could become overruled by passion so we are constantly left with the aftermath and penitence that our ruling passions could present us with. Throughout the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth time and time again are left to deal with guilt symbolized in the form of “bloody” hands. Lady Macbeth is severely affected by this as she eventually loses all of her conscience and perishes because of this. Macbeth faces less severe consequences but he too begins to mentally deteriorate because of the guilt building up inside him. Macbeth’s passion easily overrules him and turns him into a guilty, power-hungry tyrant. Shakespeare uses this to exemplify the idea that there are consequences for everything. By being greedy and getting out of control, Macbeth was faced with heavy consequences because he did not control his passion when he had the chance to. Macbeth could have been a fantastic king but because he was constantly reminded of the calamitous deeds that he committed, guilt has devoured him, taking with it his sanity and ability to redeem himself. The text shows that guilt has the power to do this to people. It will constantly remind you of what you have done and it drains you so much that you do not even have the opportunity to redeem yourself for what you might have done. Our protagonist had the power to regain his conscience and sense of morality but because greed and power also fogs his mind, he was left to face extreme consequences for extreme actions. Macbeth was corrupted by his hunger for power; he faced the consequences of never ending penitence and was eventually faced with his demise.

Macbeth was a very well written play with Shakespeare exploring a rare topic of passion and how easily it can take over one’s morals. The idea of knowing the future, greed, and consequences are also brief topics that could be tied to the main idea. Macbeth was an excelling thane prior to the meeting of the three witches but once he knew his fate, he became extremely carried away by the internal need to attain his foretold prophecy. Macbeth then lost his conscience to greed and was left to manage with extreme consequences.

My unforgettable passion

Hockey; It’s not a sport, it’s a passion. Well to me at least. Ever since I was five years old hockey had been a part of my life.  When I was young I would come home after a long day at school and jump right onto the rink and play and play and play until daddy had to scoop me up in his strong hands and take me inside. Sometimes daddy would even come outside and join me. Those were the best days.My daddy had taught me everything about hockey and that was sort of one of the hobbies we shared and definately enjoyed. Growing up my whole life I was surrounded by hockey and it was something my whole family couldn’t live without. It was surely a part of who we were. But who would have thought that this joy and favourite past time would only last a bit longer.

On June 30th,1999 my daddy passed away and along with him went my passion for hockey. At that moment I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. As if everything was gone from my life. I felt incomplete. The man who taught me everything from how to tie my shoes to skating was now gone. It was just that bitter truth that I would have to accept. After daddy had left us I also left my mother alone and moved far down south because everything at home just reminded me too much of my dad and what we shared. Every time I tried to pick up a hockey stick my heart would shatter over and over again and it was too much for me to handle. At that moment I decided that I would never touch a hockey stick again in my life and I would never dare playing again.

As years passed, I started getting more and more depressed and my grades starting falling. I never attended my university classes and I definately didn’t hand any of my assignments in. I would just sleep all day and drink all night. It came to the point where I started cutting and at that point I knew I had gone to far. As I was looking at the pictures of me and my daddy I thought to myself;would he approve of this behaviour? Would he want me to be the terrible mess I am? No of course he wouldn’t. At that moment I got up and started packing like a maniac. I was going back. I was going home.

Two days later I arrived home to my surprised mother. We hadn’t even been in touch for almost a year. After all the hugs and kisses that me and mom exchanged I went out onto the deck and stared at the rink daddy had made for me years ago. I stared and stared and stood there frozen as all the memories flooded back into my head. I knew I had to go back out there for dad because that’s what he’d want me to do. I slowly walked downstairs and grabbed all of my old hockey equipment. I dressed and headed outside with my favorite stick by my side. As I stood before the rink I felt tears rush to my eyes. How could I even be doing this without dad? The whole time I was standing there I thought about my dad. As more tears rushed into my eyes I lost vision of the ice rink and all I could see was grass. Grass everywhere. This wasn’t the same without dad here. Who would catch me if I fell? Who would clean up my bruises after I scraped my knee against the ice? I wiped the tears away from my eyes and the ice rink came back in view again. I slowly turned and walked away because without my dad here, it would never be the same. I would never get to do the thing I’m most passionate about because it will remind me of my dad in one way or another.

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