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Faust and Gorboduc
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The English drama of the 16th century showed from the beginning that it would not be bound by classical rules. However, we could say that it borrows features from the early dramatic forms adding others, fitting more with the Renaissance way of thinking. These early dramatic forms could be the mystery, miracle, and morality plays and they focused on the religious and moral themes that dominated the Christian imagination during the Middle Ages. The morality play, usually, called a "morality", presented religious and ethical concerns from the point of view of the individual Christian, whose main concern was the salvation...
Gorboduc and Dr Faustus the heritage of the medieval dramatic form of the morality plays is obvious. Indeed, the fight between good and evil and the Christian didactic and moralizing messages are omnipresent and would remain in the whole Renaissance literature. But, Christopher Marlowe as well as Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, pioneered the use of blank verse which many of his contemporaries, including William Shakespeare, later would adopt. Besides, each play added its originality: Gorboduc in the revival and modernization of the Senecan tragedy and Dr Faustus by tackling very contemporary issues as well as usual moral questions.

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Is the accuser always holy now?...Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God"s fingers? I"ll tell you what"s walking Salem-vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! p73, The Crucible Arthur Miller"s classic play, The Crucible, is about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth century Salem, Massachusetts. What starts with several girls practicing European white magic in the woods escalates to a massive hysteria, with the "afflicted" girls falsely accusing even the respected women in the community of being witches. Eager to "utterly crush the servants of the devil", church leaders and townspeople insist on trying the accused. The punishment for failing to confess to witchcraft is death by hanging. In the end, many are hanged for imaginary crimes, for which no actual proof is ever presented, the only evidence being the word of a handful of girls. Miller wrote The Crucible as a parallel to the anticommunist hysteria in the 1940"s. It may also be seen as a mirror to Hitler"s Germany, and the pseudo-science of the time which dictated "purity". Today, however, The Crucible shows a resemblance to an entirely different kind of social hysteria. Accusations of sexual-abuse against child-care providers and others are now sometimes referred to as "witch hunts" when the accusers are suspected of lying, as in Miller"s play. Children"s advocates will of course tell us that we must believe children"s claims of abuse, because, tragically, it does occur. However, a recent trend has shown that more and more accusations are false, and even when the accused are found innocent, their lives can be changed forever. This paper will examine the similarities between Miller"s The Crucible, and the sexual-abuse "witch hunts" of today. Gordon Waugh, member of Casualties Of Sexual Allegations COSA writes: "¦many people now acquire "victimhood" through counseling. Being a "victim" draws sympathy. It explains the tragedies, the failures, the hardships, the health problems and the disappointments of life. It relieves people of some of life"s natural burdens: dealing with complexity, facing things beyond their control, and accepting responsibility for decisions and actions. Many counselors attribute their clients" woes to long-buried "repressed" memories of childhood sexual abuse. They help clients to unlock these, and rewrite their pasts. Clients sever all former ties with "families of origin" and surround themselves only with other "survivors", to prevent confirmation or denial. They edit their past to match new "memories" and beliefs. Innocent families are devastated by allegations of sexual abuse created in this way. In The Crucible, the girls who claim to be afflicted with the spirits of the "witches", often claim to "remember" all the horrible things that the accused have done to them. For instance, in Act Two of the play, Mary Warren has returned home from court, where Sarah Good had been on trial. Mary Warren, with an indignant edge: She tried to kill me many times, Goody Proctor! Elizabeth: Why, I never heard you mention that before. Mary Warren: I never knew it before. I never knew anything before. When she Sarah Good come into the court"¦I hear a voice, a screamin" voice"¦and all at once I remember everything she done to me! p54-55 The atmosphere of the screaming girls, all claiming to be afflicted by spirits, perpetuated the lying. Singularly, it is doubtful that any of the girls would have claimed their neighbors to be witches. However, the reinforcement from friends to continue with the plan, the promptings of self-absorbed church leaders to provide the courts with the names of the "guilty", and the fear of being personally condemned for their actions caused the girls to accuse, and in some cases, such as Mary Warren"s, actually believe that they were afflicted by evil spirits. In the mid 1980s, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kern County authorities charged a number of people of sexual abuse, claiming that they were uprooting sex rings of Satanic child abusers. The case began in October of 1984, when Kern county officers interviewed two girls, Carla Modahl age 9 and Carol Ann Bittner age 12 about an alleged incident of sexual abuse that had supposedly occurred 18 months earlier. The girls mentioned only 2 possible molesters, Leroy and Anthony Cox. Carla and her sister Teresa age 11 had been adopted by their Aunt Ruth after their mother died in a car accident. They lived with their aunt and her husband Jeffery Modahl, and Ruth"s children from earlier marriages, including Carol Ann Bittner. Jeffery worked construction for Anthony Cox, one of the accused child molesters. The Kern County officials took both girls to a shelter for children presumed to be abused, where they were prohibited from contacting friends or family. They were questioned repeatedly about alleged sexual abuse. Officials investigated the house but found absolutely no evidence usually associated with abuse to corroborate the accusations. This did not stop the county authorities from building up a case involving a large "sex ring". They seized the other children living with Jeffery Modahl and Ruth Taylor, questioned them repeatedly and suggestively, and put them in a shelter. Eventually, Carla named other people present at the alleged sexual molestation, including Richard Cox, his wife Joanne Cox, Jeffery Modahl, Ruth Taylor, Teresa Cox, and Jody Dugrenier. Teresa and Jody were said to have taken pictures- none were ever found. Carol Ann Bittner was questioned again and again, but never placed Richard Cox, Joanne Cox, Jeffery Modahl, Ruth Taylor, Teresa Cox, and Jody Dugrenier at the scene of the crime. The other children living in the home denied being molested at all. In all, there were four trials. The first being for Teresa Cox, who was accused of the molestation of Carol Ann and Carla. She was convicted, despite conflicting stories and lack of hard evidence. The second trial was of Anthony and Leroy Cox, who were also convicted. The third trial was of Richard Cox and Ruth Taylor. During this trial, the defense asked for a physical examination, which was refused because it "would be a wrongful invasion of the young victim"s privacy". Richard Cox and Ruth Taylor were convicted. The fourth trial was of Jeffery Modahl. Carla testified against him, claiming he had molested her, Carol Ann Bittner, and Teresa Modahl. Her testimony was unsupported by any medical examination or physical evidence, and her testimony contradicted the testimonies of other witnesses. Carol Ann Bittner testified under oath that Jeffery had never molested her, nor had she seen him molest anyone. Richard Taylor age 7, who also lived with Jeffery, was not allowed to testify because he refused to state that Jeffery had molested him. Jeffery was convicted and sentenced to 48 years in prison. These rulings were made in the witch hunting atmosphere prevalent in Kern County in the mid 1980s. During this period, county officials circulated the widely believed rumors that multigenerational Satanic rings were operating in Kern County, and that children never lie about sexual abuse. Between the years 1982 and 1985, dozens of people in Kern County were convicted of elaborate forms of large scale child molestation and pornography production, and sentenced to prison for decades, even centuries. The same group of ambitious social workers, child abuse coordinators, deputy sheriffs, and district attorney investigated and prosecuted all these cases. These, the Kern County Trials, are remarkably similar to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. In each case, many people were accused and condemned, based solely on the word of an accuser. Unfortunately, it is difficult to evaluate the veracity of any testimony, especially of children, who are impressionable and eager to give the answers that adults lead them to give. We may never understand why people feel inclined to charge others with crimes they are innocent of.   

Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God"s fingers? I"ll tell you what"s walking Salem-vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes...

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