The Church’s role in a Puritan Marriage
In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the church’s role in a Puritan marriage is very accurately described. Marriage is when a man and a woman come together and form a holy bond under God. The Puritan church had a very important role in a marriage during the 1700s; People lived their lives and based their marriages off of what the church was teaching. A very good example shown in the play is the marriage of John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor. The church’s influence is perfectly exemplified in this fictional marriage because every decision that John or Elizabeth makes pertaining to their marriage has the church’s teachings included in it. They aren’t the only ones, every marriage depicted in the play shows two people who value the church over the wellbeing of their loved ones.
One example of a character that chooses the church over their spouse is when Giles Corey tells reverend Hale about his wife Martha. When Reverend Hale arrives from Beverly, he immediately wants to go see Parris’ Daughter Betty, and on the way to see her, Giles Corey tells Reverend Hale about this book that his wife has that he thinks prevents him from completing his prayers. He asks Hale, “Mister Hale… I have always wanted to ask a learned man—What signifies the readin’ of strange books?..... I cannot tell; she hides them. Martha, my wife. I have waked at night many times and found her in a corner, readin’ of a book. Now what do you make of that?.... It discomforts me! Last night—mark this—I tried and tried and could not say my prayers. And then she close her book and walks out of the house, and suddenly—mark this—I could pray again!” (Miller 190). In not so many words, Giles Corey accused his own wife of consulting with the devil, according to reverend Hale the stoppage of prayer could signify the devils workings. “the crime of witchcraft was a felony. Of the 100 people accused before the 1690s, at least twelve were executed” (Moss and...
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