The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, portrays many acts of malice and self-fulfillment.

By means of accusations of witchery and devil worship, many of the characters in the play were able to further their own ambitions. Thomas Putnam is an apt example of this selfish cruelty; a greedy and prideful man, he accused an elderly man, George Jacobs, of witchcraft simply so he could gain the land that borders his own. The corrupt and stubborn judges of the court did not recognize the accusation for what it was: a total fraud. They sentenced Mr. Jacobs to death, despite the pleas of Giles Corey, his insistences that Putnam’s accusations were a lie. “It is a lie,” claims Giles, “if Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property… This man is killing his neighbors for their land!” But the judges take no heed and hang him just as well, as do they prosecute Giles for giving no reliable evidence. And as a result, the Salem witch trials were not a cleansing of the towns people, as it was intended to be by the judges, but just a method in which wealthy and self-centered people could fulfill their own endeavors at the stake of the truly innocent.