The Crucible

Consider the hierarchy of power within this community. Before the trials, which citizens had the most power? Which citizens had the least power? As a result of the ongoing trials, how was the power structure shifted in this community?

This probably towards more the end of Act 2

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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. By the end of the play the power structure is precarious. Rev. Parris's stature is in jeopardy. THe people have had it with the Church's authority over these witch trials.