Tituba's Responsibility in The Crucible

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The Crucible and the Blame on Tituba

The Crucible is a dramatic play written by Arthur Miller. In this play, people are accused of witchcraft and magic and the innocently accused people were hanged. In The Crucible, there was a complicated series of events that led to the conviction and execution of several characters after a witch trial. The events have been blamed on more than one person but in my opinion, Tituba is the most responsible for the witch trials that led to numerous deaths and convictions in the play.\u00a0 When she went in the forest with the girls, she could have said no to casting spells, but she did it since the girls asked her and afterward, she confessed to witchcraft with led to Salem witch trials that led to the conviction and death of innocent people.

Taking Responsibility: Tituba's Role

In the play, Tituba is the most responsible and to blame for the death of the innocent people in Salem village because after she went to the woods with the other girls, she cast spells yet this was seen as a sin and evil in Salem. She had the chance to refuse what the girls asked of her, but since she was a slave, she danced and cast evil spirits in the forest, which led to the witchcraft hysteria in Salem. To make it worse, later on, she confessed to performing witchcraft when Abigail blamed her yet this was a lie since she feared being hanged for her mistakes in a Puritan society that had a strong belief in superstition and witchcraft. In addition, Tituba had the responsibility and the authority to stop the ridiculous Salem witch trials but she did not.

Taking a Closer Look at Tituba's Background

Tituba was a black slave girl who was known to have brought spells and other questionable practices from Barbados to Salem.\u00a0 Since she was from Barbados where people never considered dancing, singing, and spell casting as evil like in Salem, she danced and sang with the girls in the woods. In fact, for Tituba, dancing, singing, and spell casting were spiritual practices that is why she never saw any evil in them. This is evident when she tells her jailer \u201cDevil, him be pleasure-man in Barbados, him be singing and dancing [\u2026] It's you, folks\u2014you riles him up 'round here [\u2026] He freeze his soul in Massachusetts, but in Barbados he just as sweet\u201d (IV.15). However, despite being innocent, her confession that she had performed witchcraft while in the forest led to the legitimization of the witchcraft suspicions and the investigations led to the witch trials that led to the convictions and the deaths. After her arrest, Tituba confessed that she was a witch and even warned the people about there being other witches in Salem and this sparked a mass hysteria in Salem yet this was a lie to protect herself from death. Tituba is to blame because she lied about performing witchcraft and about there being other witches in Salem and the Putnam family took advantage of the confessions and accused innocent people of witchcraft leading to their death.

Tituba's Contribution to the Tragic Events

In addition, Tituba is to blame because had she refused to bow to\u00a0 Rev. Parris pressure to confess to a sin she had not committed, the lives of the innocent people who were executed could have been saved. However, since she was only a slave, and did not want to get into trouble, Tituba confessed for her safety after being threatened thus causing the death of innocent people. This is evident when Parris says to her\u00a0 ''You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death!'' (I.32). In fact, her confessions in the court to the false charges against her that indeed there was a conspiracy of witches and naming other witches Osborne and Good as her collaborators led to the conviction and death of more people for witchcraft that never existed. Afterward, Abigail joins her in her lies out of jealousy and hatred by naming other innocent people blaming them to be associates of the devil thus causing the conviction and the death of several people in Salem.

The Impact of Tituba's Questionable Activities

Moreover, Tituba was to blame for the tragic events in the Crucible because it was her questionable activities in the forest, that led to Betty Parris\u2019 sickness and death and this sparked the investigation of Salem witchcraft. Tituba told the girls several stories about witchcraft and casting spells in Barbados, which made them curious about the practice (Morgan, 42). The girls\u2019 imaginations made them ask Tituba to perform the witchcraft while in the forest and since the town\u2019s folks were very religious and superstitious, they suspected her of witchcraft, which she accepted and implicated other people in her lies causing their death.

Taking Extreme Measures to Avoid Death

Sometimes, people are always forced to lie and confess to crimes they have not committed when faced with situations that can lead to their death. This is the same case with Tituba who had to lie and even confess to crimes she did not commit after being threatened with death. After the threats, Tituba \u201c terrified, falls to her knees: No, no, don't hang Tituba! I tell him I don't desire to work for him, sir\u201d thus confession out of fear (I. 35). Just like Tituba, in real life, this can also happen, and someone has to accept something he\/she has not done just to avoid being beaten to death or even hanged.

The Crucible: An Examination of Tituba's Responsibility

In conclusion, Arthur Miller's The Crucible is a play about the Salem witch trials that led to the conviction and hanging of several innocent people. During the Salem witch trial, Tituba is to blame for the circumstances that led to the conviction and execution of innocent people for witchcraft. If only Tituba had told the truth about everything and not lied about performing witchcraft herself, there could be no Salem witch trials, and several people who were executed could have lived. Moreover, she had the chance to refuse to perform witchcraft when the girls asked her to in the forest, but she still went ahead and later on confessed to the false accusations while implicating other innocent people leading to the Salem witch trials and the dreadful hangings.

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts. New York: Viking Press, 1953.

Morgan, Edmund S. "Arthur Miller's The Crucible and the Salem Witch Trials: A Historian's      View."Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Arthur Miller's “The Crucible”, ed. H.        Bloom, new edn, Chelsea House Publishers, New York (2008): 41-53.

November 24, 2023

Art Literature



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The Crucible

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