The Crucible Unit Packet (Study Guide)

Type of Work; genre Historical Fiction
Time and Place Written 1953 New York
Setting (Time and Place) Salem, Massachusetts 1692
Protagonist John Proctor
Antagonist Abigail Williams
John Proctor was a 60 year old tavern keeper Not a 30 year old Farmer
Putnams had 6 living children Not 7 dead children
Abigail did not work for the Proctors no evidence of an affair
Dancing in the woods Never any dancing in the woods
A crucible is 1. A container of metal for heating substances at hot temperatures2. Hollow area at the bottom of a furnace in which the metal collects 3. Searching test or trial
Puritans believed: They believed that God had given them the right to the land of America.
Theocracy Governed by religion
providence God’s will; God’s intervention in human affairs
Puritanical strict in morality and religion; this term has come about since the reign of the Puritans
inculcation impress with insistent urging; convince
propitiation win good will
ameliorate improve
theology the study of a religious doctrine; what a particular sect believes
vestry the room in the church where robes are kept
apparition ghost
trafficked have dealings with
blink tolerate
dissembling to conceal under a false appearance
conjure to raise spirits from the dead
vindictive having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge
propriety behavior that is accepted as socially or morally correct and proper
diametrically completely opposed
defamation damaging another persons reputation through false accusations
malign evil in nature, influence, or effect
fiend an evil spirit
iniquity the quality of being unfair or evil
malevolence malice, hatred
contempt the act of despising
prosecutor a lawyer who represents the person who accuses another
deposition testimony of a witness
plaintiff a person who brings suit in a court
guile deceitful; cunning
reprieve to delay the punishment of someone
indictment the act of officially charging someone with a crime
conspiracy the act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal
purged to cause something to leave the body
penitence a feeling of deep sadness because you have done something wrong
What was Samuel Parris’s attitude toward children? He thinks of them as something to be seen, not heard.
Why do you think Rev. Parris has many enemies? He is selfish and greedy.
After Parris begins to believe his daughter to be afflicted by witchcraft, what is Thomas Putnam’s advice to him? Go and tell the town
What truths come out when the adults leave the girls alone? They are faking, Betty says that Abigail drank blood.
What’s going on between Abigail and John Proctor? They had an affair
Why does Betty start screaming? She “sees” spirits
Why are some people, including John Proctor, inclined to stay away from Sabbath meeting? Because they don’t want to hear about damnation
Why does Hale believe the Devil would strike Rev. Parris’s house? The devil is looking for moral, upstanding, citizens to take.
Though Rev. Hale is trying to get Tituba to name her accomplices, who is the first person to actually mention names? Abigail
Why isn’t it difficult for Ann Putnam to believe that Goody Osburn is a witch? He helped deliver the babies
What do you know about the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor from the stage action and opening dialogue of Act II? It is tense and complicated
Describe the power Abigail has in the courtroom All of the power
What’s going on between the Proctors at the beginning of Act II? They are having a rough time in their marriage- John cheated on her.
Though Mary Warren cannot say who accused Elizabeth Proctor, who do you believe accused her and why? Abigail because she has the clearest motive for wanting Mrs. Proctor to be in trouble.
Ironically, which commandment can John not remember? Adultery; Commandment number 7
John Proctor seems to be the only voice of reason in the confusing end of act II. What are some examples to support this idea? Someone says Abigail accused someone of witchcraft and he says “On what proof?” “And why not, if they must hang for denying it. They are them that swear to anything before they in hang; have you thought of that?
Why is Mary Warren afraid of telling the truth about Abigail, for herself and for John? She is afraid she will be accused or her will be
In his speech at the end of Act II, Proctor says, “we are only what we always were, but naked now.” What does he mean by that?
Over and over, Danforth says that the good have nothing to fear. What evidence can you give to show that the opposite is true? Tituba was accused and did nothing
Danforth gives the premise for judging a witch. Summarize his guidelines. (Pg. 100) The courts have to rely upon the victims (people making the accusations) because witchcraft is an invisible art.
Mary Warren’s testimony is destroyed in the end because she cannot do something. What? How does she explain the problem?
Finally, Proctor admits that he and Abigail have been lovers. This truth could be the end of Abigail’s control. Why isn’t it? Abigail has still accused Elizabeth, and others of witchcraft.
What is the irony of Elizabeth’s lie? To save her husband’s life, she must condemn him for lechery. Elizabeth is an honest person who doesn’t lie, but when it is most important that she is honest, she lies and defends her husband. She chose to be dishonest at the very moment that her integrity matters most.
What is the importance of John Proctor’s last speech (in Act II)?
What is Hale’s mission in Act IV? How has it changed from the beginning of the play?
Parris tells Danforth, ” You cannot hang this sort.” What does he mean? These people are well respected and have done little wrong. People will value them and will miss them. This makes Parris fear for his own life because a dagger fell in front of him as a warning.
Why won’t Danforth pardon the prisoners? Because 12 people have already died for this reason and the villagers expect to see them. If he pardoned the prisoners it would show a fault in his law and authority to postpone the deaths.
Do you think Elizabeth Proctor would confess if she were in her husband’s place? Explain.
In the end, what is it that is of utmost importance to John Proctor? His good name and dignity.

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