The Cauldron of Evil The Crucible by Arthur Miller displays that evil prevails even if good men do something about it. The philosophy does not prove true in the play because many good men such as Giles Corey, John Proctor, and Reverend Hale tried to stop the downward spiral of society caused by witchcraft, but evil still prevailed through the ignorance, greed, and immorality of others. Reverend Hale tries to talk sense into Mr. Danforth towards the end of the play; however, Danforth’s ignorance continues to cause devastation to the town of Salem. Reverend Hale explains to Mr.
Danforth that “there is a prodigious fear of this court in the country” (Miller, 89). However, Mr. Danforth shows his ignorance by responding that “No uncorrupted man may fear this court, Mr. Hale! None! ” (Miller, 90). Even though Reverend Hale is trying to impede his ”reign of terror” Mr. Danforth’s ignorance is leading many people to die horrible undeserving deaths. Giles Corey tried to do what was right by showing how crazy the courts were for condemning innocent people to death on pure speculation and lies from young girls because of the greed of others.
Giles Corey announces to Mr. Danforth that “[Mr. Putnam] is killing his neighbors for their land! ” (Miller, 89). Mr. Putnam’s selfish tendencies are causing the girls to lie so that he can get land. Giles Corey speaks out against what the courts and others are doing, and consequently gets arrested for it. While Giles Corey is a good man trying to expose the greed and lies of others, he eventually dies as a result and the evil within Salem does not stop.
John Proctor attempts to halt the false accusations of others by having Mary Warren tell the truth to the court, but Abigail interferes by immorally lying about her. Proctor coerces Mary to go with him when he says “You’re coming to the court with me, Mary. You will tell it in court. ” (Miller, 75). While in court Abigail is immoral by saying “[Mary] lies” about saying that everything the girls have been doing is a lie (Miller, 95). Proctor and Mary Warren go against the court and try to prove that Abigail and all the other girls are making everything up.
Abigail is acting out in court and blaming it on Mary in order to escape her fate, which determines the fate of others into being killed. Throughout The Crucible Giles Corey, John Proctor, and Reverend Hale try to stop the evil deeds being done by many of the other people in the town of Salem. Greed, ignorance, and immorality influenced the towns and the courts into continuing what caused so many deaths and imprisonments of innocent people. Edmund Burke’s quote is the epitome of one who does not fully realize the reality of evil and what has to be done to stop it.