The Sin of Pride in The Crucible

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 663 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 663|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Destructive Nature of Pride
  2. The Tragic Consequences of Pride
  3. Broad Implications of Pride
  4. Conclusion

Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, explores the destructive power of pride through the lens of the Salem witch trials. Set in 1692, the play depicts a community torn apart by accusations of witchcraft, fueled by the pride and self-righteousness of its inhabitants. Pride, a sin often associated with an excessive sense of self-importance and arrogance, is a central theme in The Crucible, as it drives the characters to make irrational decisions and leads to the downfall of many. This essay will analyze the manifestation of pride in various characters, its consequences, and its broader implications on society.

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The Destructive Nature of Pride

Pride, when unchecked, is a dangerous force that can blind individuals to their own flaws and lead them to act in ways that harm others. In The Crucible, this is evident in the character of Judge Danforth, whose pride in his role as a judge and his belief in his ability to discern the truth causes him to ignore evidence that could exonerate the accused. When confronted with the possibility of false accusations, Danforth dismisses the notion, stating, "A person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between" (Miller, Act III). This statement reveals his stubborn pride and unwillingness to consider alternative perspectives, ultimately resulting in the wrongful conviction and execution of innocent individuals.

Furthermore, the pride of other characters such as Reverend Parris and Deputy Governor Danforth leads them to prioritize their reputations and maintain a façade of righteousness, even in the face of mounting evidence of the trials' injustice. This prideful desire to uphold their social standing blinds them to the suffering of others and perpetuates the cycle of accusations and executions.

The Tragic Consequences of Pride

Throughout The Crucible, pride proves to be a destructive force, causing immense suffering and loss. John Proctor, a central character in the play, is a prime example of the tragic consequences of pride. Initially, Proctor's pride prevents him from confessing his affair with Abigail Williams, as he fears the damage it will do to his reputation. However, as the trials escalate and the lives of innocent people hang in the balance, Proctor's pride gives way to his conscience, and he ultimately chooses to expose his own sin in order to save his wife and friends.

Additionally, the pride of the accusers, particularly Abigail Williams, drives the hysteria of the witch trials and leads to the destruction of countless lives. Abigail's prideful desire for power and revenge blinds her to the consequences of her actions, and she manipulates the court proceedings to her advantage. Her pride ultimately results in the deaths of innocent individuals, including John Proctor.

Broad Implications of Pride

The sin of pride in The Crucible extends beyond the individual characters and reflects broader societal issues. Miller uses the Salem witch trials as a metaphor for the political climate of McCarthyism in 1950s America, where individuals were accused of being communists without substantial evidence. The prideful self-righteousness displayed by the characters in The Crucible mirrors the paranoia and fear that gripped society during this period, demonstrating the destructive consequences of unchecked pride on a larger scale.

Furthermore, the play serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the dangers of pride and the importance of humility and empathy in maintaining a just society. Miller's portrayal of the devastating impact of pride serves as a warning against the dangers of unchecked ego and reminds us of the need to challenge our own biases and assumptions.


The Crucible highlights the destructive power of pride through the characters' actions and their consequences. The sin of pride, when left unchecked, leads to irrational decision-making, harm to others, and the perpetuation of injustice. The play serves as a reminder of the broader implications of pride and the need for humility and empathy in society. By exploring the sin of pride in The Crucible, we gain insight into the complex nature of human behavior and the timeless relevance of Miller's work.

Works Cited:

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Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Penguin Classics, 2003.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Sin of Pride in The Crucible. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from
“The Sin of Pride in The Crucible.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
The Sin of Pride in The Crucible. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Jul. 2024].
The Sin of Pride in The Crucible [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 24]. Available from:
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