“I think with any characterization there’s a point where you empathize, no matter how much of a deviance his or her actions may be from your understanding of humanity.”-Benedict Cumberbatch. Like Cumberbatch brilliantly said, characterization is a device used to emphasize someone and their understanding of humanity. This is especially true in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The Crucible takes place during the times of the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. In this tale, a girl by the name of Abigail Williams leads some girls into a forest in order to conduct a ritual that would kill her secret lover’s wife. However, she is found out by Reverend Parris and has to try to remove the blame from herself so that she is not hung. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the author uses his characters to criticize feminism. Reverend Parris is used to emphasize the greed and corruption that men in power have and Abigail Williams is used to portray women as corrupt, as she has to use ‘evil power’ in order to stand up to the men of this story. To begin, Reverend Parris is used to emphasize the greed and corruption that men in power have. After finding out Abigail Williams was performing a ritual in the forest with a few other girls, he comments, “…now my ministry’s at stake.” Considering Reverend Parris is supposed to be a man of God, it is very ironic that he cares more about his reputation than the safety of others. Considering that at this point Reverend Parris does not know the motive or the true intentions of the ritual, he is acting very selfish and greedy. Through a feminist’s point of view, he has letting his power of becoming successful as a Reverend blind him from looking at the big picture and taking action to help correct it. Reverend Parris also goes on to say, “They will howl me out of Salem for such corruption in my house.”To add on, Reverend Parris is then, again, worried about his reputation in Salem as a result of the ritual. His greed is emphasized by his worry for his house than it is for those who performed the ritual. Since the Reverend was able to make a name for himself in Salem, he was able to obtain a lot for money and a big house. He was also able to obtain the trust of his peers. Therefore, when he says “my house,” he is referring to the trust that the people of Salem have put on him. He fears that everything he built will be taken away from him if word gets out that Miss Williams did a witch like ritual. One of the last things the Reverend says in Act One is, “I do not preach for children.” Lastly, the Reverend admits that he does not preach for children like he does for adults. This is significant because Abigail Williams is a child and would typically need to be ‘saved by God’ after performing such a ritual. However, Reverend Parris implies that he would not do so since he does not preach for children. This also serves to emphasize how ironic this ‘man in power’ is considering a reverend is supposed to preach for everyone no matter what as that is the will of God. In conclusion, Reverend Parris shows how greedy and corrupt men in power are by how he reacts to the situation with Abigail Williams. His character emphasis serves to show how men in power ultimately only care about how things affect them rather than trying to think of the bigger picture. To add on, Abigail Williams is used to portray women as corrupt, as she has to use ‘evil power’ in order to stand up to men. Firstly, Abby Williams is first described as, “an orphan with an endless capacity for disassembling.” Disassembling refers to disguising one’s true nature, motive, and or pretense. For starters, Miss Williams is described in a negative way right off the bat. The author tries to emphasize that this character cannot be trusted by saying she is good at disguising her true nature. This is meant to be interpreted as part of Miss Williams’s selfish nature that will be described later on in Act One. In terms of using ‘evil power’ in order to stick up to men, the lies that disassembling entails will prove to be useful for Williams since she can use this method in order to get out of any trouble that a man might through her way. Secondly, Betty Parris, the ten-year-old daughter of Reverend Parris and someone who was greatly affected by the events that took place when she attended Miss Williams’s ritual, goes on to talk about some of the things Abigail did in the forest, “You drank blood-you drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife.” In addition, Betty Parris tells Abigail Williams that she drank blood in order to curse Goody Proctor, the wife of her secret lover. The fact that Miss Williams would try to curse anyone in a ritual is very corrupt in it of itself. However, since the author is criticizing feminism through Williams, her actions show how she is willing to hurt others in order to get what she wants. This is part of her ‘evil power’. Considering how extreme Williams was willing to go in order to get a man, this puts women in a very negative way. Her evil deed makes women seem like selfish beings that are willing to do evil things in order to get what they want. Lastly, Abigail Williams feels threatened a little later on in Act One and states, “I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.” To finish off Abigail Williams’s character emphasis, Williams threatens to kill someone. Since she is not in a good position by this point in Act One, this kind of talk is very reckless and shows how she is willing to kill someone in order to protect herself from persecution. This, again, shows how selfish she is and her ‘evil power’. Through the lense of feminism, this makes women seem very violent and corrupt as killing someone, especially during such a religious time, is a huge sin that is looked down upon. To conclude, Abigail Williams and her corrupt nature serve to put women in a negative light. In conclusion, Arthur Miller uses The Crucible in order to craft the characters of Reverend Parris, an evil man in power who lets his greed control him, and Abigail Williams, a corrupt woman who has to use “evil power” in order to stand up for herself, in order to criticize feminism. Reverend Parris is a character that serves to emphasize the ironic side of men in power as they are greedy and corrupt. Abigail Williams is a character that serves to emphasize how women are also corrupt and that they have to use ‘evil power’ in order to stick up to men. The story is only as good as its characters as well as how they are being emphasized. The Crucible was able to utilize its characters in order to criticize the ideals of feminism in the 1950s when feminism was becoming more and more popular.