The Crucible

what does this play say about authority and truth be sure to consider the significance of proctors death at the end of the play in your answer


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There are many levels of authority within the world of the Crucible. Early on, the Reverend Parris is the sole authoritative voice in Salem, as the minister and a graduate of Harvard College. He is supplanted by the arrival of Reverend Hale, who derives his authority from books and learning, which are then further supplanted in turn by the courts and its officials. Meanwhile, individualists like Proctor and Giles Corey rankle under these layers of authority – Proctor had long rejected Parris's preachings, and Corey made the authority of the law work for him as a constant plaintiff. But being an outlier is seen as dangerous in this society. Indeed, dissent against official authority is akin to being an anarchist at best and an agent of Satan at worst. Proctor and Corey are the two most modern figures in the play for their willingness to push back against the extreme authority of the courts. For this, however, they also suffer greatly.