The Crucible Study

pallor an unhealthy pale appearance.
theocracy a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
anonymity the condition of being anonymous.
witchcraft the practice of magic, especially black magic; the use of spells and the invocation of spirits.
ameliorate make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better.
contentious causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.
poppet a small figure of a human being used in sorcery and witchcraft.
affidavit a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.
ipso facto by that very fact or act.
theology the study of the nature of God and religious belief.
imperceptible impossible to perceive.
crucible a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.
crying out accuse a witch
deposition the process of giving sworn evidence.
deference humble submission and respect.
What experience gave Miller the original idea for The Crucible? The idea came from the anti-communist fears of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.
What aspects of this experience helped Miller connect the Salem of 1692 with the United States of the late 1940’s and 1950’s? He saw similarities in the prosecution of the anticommunist hearings and the witchcraft trials.
What specific similarities does Miller see between the Salem witch trials of 1692 and the anticommunist hearings of the 1950’s? People were accused of being part of a secretive, disloyal group and forced to absolve themselves by naming others in the group.
Why do you think The Crucible is Miller’s most produced play? The pressure to conform, persecution of those considered disloyal, and the abuse of rights by the powerful are common experiences worldwide.
Reverend Parris minister of Salem’s church
Betty Parris Rev. Parris’s 10 year old daughter
Susanna Walcutt one of Abigail’s girls
Mrs. Ann Putnam Thomas Putnam’s wife; given birth to 8 children, only 1 survived
Mercy Lewis one of the girls in Abigail’s group
Rebecca Nurse Francis Nurse’s wife
Martha Corey Giles Corey’s third wife
Reverend John Hale young minister, expert in witchcraft
Francis Nurse influential man in Salem
Ezekiel Cheever clerk for the witch trials
Marshall Herrick the marshal of Salem
Judge Hathorne a judge who presides over the witch trials with Danforthe
Deputy Governor Danforth deputy governor for MA, presides over the witch trials
Sarah Good homeless lady who is accused of witchcraftHopkins- jailer
Giles Corey elderly farmer in Salem, famous for filing lawsuits
What year did the witch trials occur in MA? 1692
How many people were killed? How many people were jailed? 20, 100
What was the name of the British king who accused his enemies of being witches? James I
What were some of the misfortunes the colonists experience which made them blame witchcraft? weather, sickness, fire, drought, and insect infestations
What is the definition of “crucible”? And what does it symbolize? A crucible is a heat resistant container in which metals are melted or fused at high temperatures. This word is used symbolically to suggest a severe test or trial
McCarthyism refers to a term indicating a time in American history in which many prominent American congressmen, actors/actresses, as well as writers were accused of being communist
when was the Crucible published? 1953
“Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do it” (Miller 1137). Abigail
“A child’s spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back” (Miller 1142). Rebecca Nurse
“I am only wondering how I may prove what she told me, Elizabeth. If the girl’s a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove she’s fraud, and the town gone so silly. She told it to me in a room alone- I have no proof for it” (Miller 1164). Proctor
“The devil’s loose in Salem, Mr. Proctor; we must discover where he’s hiding!” (Miller 1167). Mary Warren
“Oh, the noose, the noose is up!” (Miller 1168). Elizabeth
“This is a strange time, Mister. No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack upon this village. There is too much evidence now to deny it”(Miller 1170). Hale
“Man remember, until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven” (Miller 1175). Hale
“Mary, you charge a cold and cruel murder on Abigail” (Miller 1177). Hale
“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” (Miller 1179). Proctor
“In an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But, witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature an invisible crime” (Miller 1198). Danforthe
“God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whor e’s vengeance, and you must see it” (Miller 1206). Proctor
“Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 1232). Proctor
“He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!” (Miller 1233). Elizabeth
“More weight” (Miller 1227). Giles Corey
How does Parris feel about his parishioners? he is very paranoid about the parishioner turning against him, and he also complains how much money he makes. He thinks they’re plotting against him.
How does Proctor feel about the court and Mary Warren’s part in the proceedings? How has Mary Warren changed? Proctor feels that the court is unfair and does not like Mary Warren taking part in the proceedings. Mary Warren has become more assertive.
How has Hale changed since his arrival in Salem? Why is he testing Proctor and Elizabeth? Why hasn’t Proctor been in church? Hale has changed from being more scholarly to believing the girls and witchcraft since his arrival in Salem. He tests Proctor and Elizabeth to see how they will respond and because Elizabeth has been accused. Proctor has not been to church because he believes Parris is a hypocrite who doesn’t mention God enough in his sermons, and makes the church pay for extravagant things such as gold candle sticks.
Hale says: “Mary-you charge a cold and cruel murder on Abigail.” What does he mean? He means that Mary’s accusation would disprove Abigail’s testimonies of witchcraft, which would mean she has caused the murder of many as well as will get the consequence of murder. So, this statement is cautionary because it would cause an overturning of the girls and the court.
Why is Giles Cory expelled from court? Why won’t Danforth hear his evidence? Why is Cory arrested? He is expelled for disrupting and being in contempt of court. Danforth won’t hear his evidence because it is not submitted in the right way. Cory is arrested for being in contempt of court.
How does Parris nullify Proctor’s testament? How is Giles’s deposition turned against him? Parris nullifies Proctor’s testament by commenting on how often he had been to church. Giles deposition is turned against him because he will not give the name of who told him about Putnam and he is found in contempt.
Why does Proctor confess lechery? Why does he think Danforth and Hathorne will believe his confession? Why don’t they believe him? Proctor confesses lechery because he believes it is the only way to save Elizabeth. He also thinks that they will believe him because no one would admit to that unless they had actually done it as well as it ruins his name in the town. They don’t believe him because they believe he is only trying to save Elizabeth as well as Parris is already against him.
ow has Parris changed? Why doesn’t the news that Abigail and Mercy have left town affect the decision of the court? Parris has become more passive. The news that Abigail and Mercy have left does not affect the trial for the same reason that Hale’s denunciation does not change things. No one wants to admit that they are wrong.
How is Danforth a victim of his own logic? Danforth is a victim of his own logic because he constantly relies on the witnesses, but they prove to be unreliable as well as Abby flees and Hale denounces the proceedings.
Why does Danforth allow Elizabeth to speak to John Proctor? How has she changed toward her husband? Why doesn’t she take Hale’s advice? Danforth allows Elizabeth to speak to John because he hopes she will get him to confess. She has changed towards him in that she says little and tells him to do what he thinks is right. She does not take Hale’s advice because she wants John to do what he thinks is right.
How and why does Giles die? Why wasn’t he hanged? Giles dies by pressing because he would not confess yes or no, he just replies, “More weight.” He wasn’t hanged because he was not convicted.

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