The Salem Witch Trials was brought to life in the play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, first taking light in broadway in 1953. The main focus on this play was to highlight the Salem Witch Trials to the best of his or anyoner’s ability considering the actual event happened over a hundred years before the play was written, and seemed to have done an amazing job, especially when Nicholas Hytner decides to take the play to a whole new level and make it a movie, hoping to make the story come to life. What people didnt expect was that there are a few major differences between the movie and the actual brilliant play that was written just decades before.
A seemingly small detail that was apparently changed in the movie, was how in the very beginning, leading up to the Witch Trials, as the girls were dancing in the woods, Abigail decides to wipe her face with the blood of a chicken, leading to her becoming completely naked. In the play, Abigail actually drank the blood, and never actually took off any item of clothing, and according to the plays details, the only one to get naked was a girl named Mercy Lewis. Although seeming somewhat small of a change, this event was what set up the entire story, changing things that were to come including the fact that Abigail in the movie was seemed to be extremely guilty and focused a lot of the attention on her towards the witchcraft and what pieces of evidence the court was provided with. While in the play, Abigail only drinking the blood instead of kind of acting a little abnormal to say the least, made her seem like she was just playing along.
Another thing was that in the play, when the girls were caught and everyone was worried about what their outcome might be now that the word was getting out that they had been dancing in the woods, as Titubar’s character came up, the girls were obviously all scared to get into much trouble and didnt say anything as Tituba was being questioned forcefully about whether or not she was a witch and what roles she played in the event, some even going as far as to threaten her of a beating if she did not confess. This obviously made things a bit intense and scary, but in the movie it went a lot farther to a point where the girls actually accused Tituba completely of everything including saying that she made them dance in the woods and while Tituba was being questioned, she was also being whipped at the same time to tears, until made to confess that she was involved in witchcraft and that she was with the devil and saw someone else with the devil as well. This changed the event by making things and details a lot more dramatic and intense than they originally were, and instead of being worried and scared about each others fates they seemed to be easily to go along with anything one another said and kind of harsh when it came to throwing other people into the fire.
And finally, throughout the whole play Abigail, although still feeling love-sick over John and somewhat vicious when throwing John Proctorr’s wife under the bus; Abigail seemed to be mostly focused on her safety and getting through the witch trials without being killed or punished in any sort of way, completely focused on what she could do in order to get out of such a big mess. In the movie, while the entire event was taking place, Abigail was becoming even more incredibly selfish to a sense that she not only threw an innocent woman in to the fire, but she focused almost entirely on John Proctor and ignored everything but her love and obsession for John and trying to get him back no matter what the cost was. Even towards the end of the movie when she realized that John Proctor had given himself to be hanged along with his wife, she did anything to see if she could get him back without being hanged herself, by visiting his cell and offering him to run away with her, explaining of how she has money and a good way to go off and never be seen or heard from again that way he could live-but also be with her at the same time. And when he refused she decided to run away. In the play, none of that went down, John Proctor never threw himself into the fire, and she was never in the position where she wanted to run, and instead was trying to save herself but also still a bit obsessed with their ended relationship.
In conclusion, the play and the movie were similar in a lot of ways, holding onto some very valid points and ideas that had been brought up, including the great cases of mass hysteria that had been involved with the entire issue during both stories being told. However, the movie did twist the play to an extent, causing some things to be dramatized and changed and even kindove making it to where the play seemed to not only be focused on the witch trials but also on the love interests of John and Abigail and the extreme amount of drama and intenseness that didnt ever actually happen in the play. All in all, the play and the movie were both amazing stories to be told, but they were not exactly alike, and some parts affected a lot of the story and even changed the entire focus between the two.
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