The Crucible Paper The Three Villains ON THE Play English Literature Essay

Being greedy is one of the worst things we can ever be; greed can control our actions, and sometimes can get out of control. Within the Crucible, greed was shown through the characters of Reverend Parris, Thomas Putnam, and Judge Danforth. Parris and Putnam were greedy for the money. They would've done anything to protect their name, and get wealthier. Danforth was greedy for power. He would've done anything to keep that power even if it meant executing innocent people. Greed caused those three characters, Reverend Parris, Thomas Putnam, and Judge Danforth, to be the "villains" of the play.

However, Reverend Parris wasn't the sole "villain" in the play. Thomas Putnam is one of the richest landowners in Salem. He's referred to as bitter, and also selfish, just like Parris. He holds grudges against lots of people in Salem. Among the people he holds a grudge against is Francis Nurse because he prevented Putnam's brother in law from being chosen as minister. Putnam had an essential role in starting the witch hunt. "You can find hurtful, vengeful spirits layin' practical these children" (836). He is the first character who thinks witchcraft caused Ruth and Betty to be ill. "Sarah Good? Did you ever see Sarah Good with him? Or Osburn" (848)? He accuses many people for witchcraft like, Sarah Good, and Goody Osburn. Putnam also accuses Rebecca Nurse for killing his seven children. Francis Nurse said, "For murder, she's charged! For the marvelous and supernatural murder of Goody Putnam's babies" (858). Putnam is really the only character dishonest enough to accuse Rebecca Nurse for witchcraft. He also uses his daughter, Ruth, to accuse people, like George Jacobs, so he could take his land. Giles Corey said, "If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property-that's law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so excellent a bit. This man is killing his neighbors for his or her land" (867)! "The proof is there! I've it from a genuine man who heard Putnam say it! The day his daughter cried out on Jacobs, he said shed given him a good present of land" (867), he added. What motivated Arthur Miller to make Putnam's character just how he is, is the true Arthur Putnam. The real Putnam's thought he was much better than anyone else, and his past is filled up with grudges and unkindness. He used to continually threaten people, and always tried to eliminate anyone who tried to ruin his reputation, or his family's. Does Putnam want to kill those "witches" in order to save the children? I don't believe so. Clearly, his plan is to be wealthier, get rid of all folks he doesn't like, and take their land by accusing them of witchcraft.

As I said, Danforth is greedy for power. Judge Danforth is the judge of the witch trials and the deputy governor of Massachusetts He thinks he's always fair, and always right, so it offends him when anyone questions any of his decisions. "But you must understand, sir, a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between" (867), he said. Danforth is convinced that executing folks who are denying being witches after they're accused of witchcraft is the right move to make, and won't hear anyone who tells him otherwise. For example, in Act three, when Giles Corey, Francis Nurse, and John Proctor tried to defend their wives, he accuses them of endeavoring to overthrow the court. He believes that he doesn't punish anyone unfairly, because he is guided by God. He cares more about the reputation of the court, and himself than in being fair. "Now hear me, and beguile yourselves no more. I will not get a single plea for pardon or postponement. Them that won't confess will hang. Twelve already are executed; the names of the seven people receive out, and the village expects to see them die this morning. Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of these that died till now. While I speak God's law, I'll not crack its voice with whimpering. If retaliation is your fear, know this-I should hang ten thousand that dared to go up against the law, and an ocean of salt tears cannot melt the resolution of the statues. Now draw yourselves up like men and help me, when you are bound by Heaven to do" (880-881), Danforth said. In Act Four, it became clear that the accusations of witchcraft are false, yet he still refuses to believe so he could prevent ruining his reputation. The true Danforth inspired Arthur Miller to make his character the way he is. He was also power-hungry, and was also willing to safeguard his name even if it could require him to kill innocent people. Danforth was a great exemplory case of how greed can get out of control, his love of power, caused him to do anything to stay in power, even if he previously to sentence innocent people to death.

Greed played an important role in the Crucible, and it caused those three characters, Reverend Parris, Thomas Putnam, and Judge Danforth, to be the "villains" of the play. Each one of them only cared about themselves and themselves only. What lengths humans can go to get what they want, and how a few of them would do anything to protect themselves is unimaginable. Not think?

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