Crucible In The Crucible, a play about the Salem witch trials of 1692, by Arthur Miller, the character of Reverend Parris displays hypocrisy. Priest are generally considered good, honest people, but Parris lies to the community, he puts his ministry in front of his daughters life, and tries to help himself before helping the community. Even when Parriss daughter is sick and he is unsure what is wrong with her, he puts himself and his job before her. When he is trying to get Abigail to tell the truth he says “I pray you feel the weight of truth upon you, for now my ministrys at stake, my ministry and perhaps your cousins life.” (Act I.) In that quote, he throws in the part about Betty at the end like it has no importance compared to the fact that his “ministrys at stake.” Earlier he says to Abigail “If you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it.” Then he continues “Abigail, do you understand that I have many enemies?”(Act I.) Throughout Act One, Parris makes it obvious that the”faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit” is the only thing he can think of and is more important then anything else at that time. This is the opposite of what most people would expect from someone titled “Reverend”. Besides putting himself before his daughter, Parris also puts himself before the community.
In Act One, he complains about his salary and the house. Proctor says that he is the first minister to “demand the deed to this house.” When Parris doesnt get his way he tries to make them feel guilty by saying things like the church will burn in Hell for not being obedient. In Act Four, after he had wanted the hangings, he makes up excuses not to hang them. He says if Mr. Hale gets any of them to confess then it “surely damns the others in the public eye, and non may doubt they are all linked to Hell.” Then he says there was a dagger thrown at his door earlier in the night.
“You cannot hang this sort. There is danger for me. I dare not step outside at night!” Reverend Parris lies throughout the story to the community. Right before the story begins, Parris goes into the woods and discover Abigail, Tituba, and the rest of the girls dancing around a fire, yelling out and practicing witchcraft. He even saw somebody naked who ran off.
Abigail tells him a false story that he knows is not true because he witnessed it himself. Yet he tells Susana “There be no unnatural causes here..Let him (the doctor) look to medicine and put out all thoughts of unnatural causes here.” All that Parris can think of is that his”ministry is at stake.” He tells Putnam to “say nothing of witchcraft” because it is unknown. Parris from then on denies the true story and only admits that the girls were dancing. Later in the story when they are in court, Parris continually yells out false statements such as “Proctor has come to overthrow this court!” and “this is a clear attack upon the court” to try and save himself. Parris lies continually and can always tell other people why they will burn in hell, but he will probably be right there with them when they do. Reverend Parris displays hypocrisy by going against the church and his morals.
He lied and put himself and his job before the community throughout the play.