Betrayal, hysteria, intolerance and death are all themes portrayed through out the movie adaptation of The Crucible. Converted from a play to movie by director Nicholas Hytner and released in 1997 The Crucible has continued to interest teenagers due to its witchcraft content and it's setting in Salem. Through out the production of this movie (as mentioned in the opening statement) Betrayal, hysteria, intolerance, persecution, repression and death are major themes in the movie. Hysteria is evident and communicated almost entirely through the movie.
Friends turning against each other, family against family, neighbor against neighbor, all because they are swept up in the hysteria of witchcraft. And a group of girls, led by ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, starts all this hysteria, by dancing in the woods. The reason that these girls are out dancing is because they are being repressed. In the time that this film is set women had little, if any rights.
They were always told what to do and how to do it, never giving them a chance to be themselves. That is why they went dancing in the woods. To liberate themselves, even if it is to be for a short time.
While they are out dancing, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS's uncle, SAMUEL PARRIS, spots them. Because of their attempts to express themselves they are prosecuted as witches, when PARRIS's daughter BETTY falls ill. Days later THOMAS and ANN PUTNAM's daughter RUTH also falls ill. They connect the dancing in the woods with being witchcraft and witchcraft with being the cause of the children's sickness. So now all of the girls involved are now being charged with witchcraft. They all repent and swear that they have god in their hearts.
So to take the heat off of themselves they start spouting that others in the community are harboring the devil.