The Crucible Essay, Research Paper
In 1692, witch trials begin in Salem, Massachusetts. Numerous young girls have claimed to be bewitched. John Proctor married to Elizabeth is accused of adultery. Giles Corey is the oldest man in the community. Rebecca Nurse, wife of Francis, is a lady of goodness and respect. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Rebecca Nurse must decide what is worth dying for.
First, John Proctor must decide what is worth dying for. Proctor, well respected and feared, is a middle-aged farmer in Salem. Proctor had an affair with Abigail Williams, Reverend Parris niece. In jail Proctor is asked to confess what persons helped conspire him in the Devils Company. Procter does not confess and Cheever hands Proctor the confession to sign. Procter signs the confession, but does not give it back to Cheever. Proctor states:
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! (Miller 143)
Secondly, Giles Corey also must decide what is worth dying for. The eighty-three year old Giles Corey is still canny, inquisitive and still powerful. Corey believes that Thomas Putnam is after his land. Elizabeth says this about Corey:
He were not hanged. He would not answer aye or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they d hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be condemned a wizard without he answer the indictment, aye or nay. (Miller 135)
Corey died by stone pressing. Corey had only two words, more weight, not aye or nay. According to Elizabeth, Aye. It were a fearsome man, Giles Corey.
Finally, Rebecca Nurse is the last to decide. Rebecca, married to Francis nurse, is a lady of immense goodness and respect. The Nurses and Putnam s are feuding families. These two families feuded about land boundaries, politics, and children. Rebecca was charged with murder of Goody Putnam s babies. While in jail her husband tried to get her out, but instead she was condemned. Miller gives the idea that Rebecca Nurse is very wise. (27)
In conclusion, characters in The Crucible must decide what is worth dying for. John Proctor chooses to die for his name. Giles Corey died for his land. Rebecca Nurse picked to die for her soul.