Books and Movies Reviews

The Power of Authority

Authority is a power that has been shown through many different ways in history and in present day. In the play "The Crucible" Arthur Miller shows how the power of authority was shown in Salem, Massachusetts in the late 1600's. Throughout "The Crucible" Arthur Miller illustrates authority through the authority of the court in Salem, the authority of the Puritans church or religion, and how authority was shown through Judge Danforth.
Another way that the power of authority can be shown throughout the play is through the power of the court that ruled and decided who to be convicted as a witch. The people of Salem in the play had a "prodigious fear of the court in [there] country. (Hale pg.98)" The fact that they had a fear of the court showed that it had authority because of the fact that the people were all afraid of the court's power. During the play the court charged and jailed many citizens on the acquisitions of being witches or being associated with the devil. When the many people were jailed there were many "orphans wondering from house to house; abandoned cattle [bellowing] on the highroads; and the stink of rotting crops [hung] everywhere. (Hale pg.130)" This economic breakdown of the city of Salem shows how the court had authority because it shows how the power of a small assembly of court officials can turn a city into a economic disaster all because of a court order. The court in Salem showed many people "too many frightful proofs in court (Hale pg.71)" which lead to the peoples believe that the their lives "[rested] upon the justice of the court. (Hale pg.71)" This also proved the court's authority because it allowed the people to see that the court had the power to give death warrants based on a small amount of proof. The court of Salem, in "The Crucible", was one of the leaders of authority throughout the play.

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