She believes John still lusts after Abigail and tells him that as long as he does, he will never redeem himself. Mary Warren enters and gives Elizabeth a ' poppet ' doll-like puppet that she made in court that day while sitting as a witness. Angered that Mary is neglecting her duties, John threatens to beat her.
Mary retorts that she saved Elizabeth's life that day, as Elizabeth was accused of witchcraft and was to be arrested until Mary spoke in her defense. Mary refuses to identify Elizabeth's accuser, but Elizabeth surmises accurately that it must have been Abigail. She implores John to go to court and tell the judges that Abigail and the rest of the girls are pretending.
John is reluctant, fearing that doing so will require him to publicly reveal his past adultery. Reverend Hale arrives, stating that he is interviewing all the people named in the proceedings, including Elizabeth. He mentions that Rebecca Nurse was also named, but admits that he doubts her a witch due to her extreme piousness, though he emphasizes that anything is possible. Hale is skeptical about the Proctors' devotion to Christianity, noting that they do not attend church regularly and that their second child has not yet been baptized ; John replies that this is because he has no respect for Parris.
Challenged to recite the Ten Commandments , John fatefully forgets "thou shalt not commit adultery". When Hale questions her, Elizabeth is angered that he does not question Abigail first. Unsure of how to proceed, Hale prepares to take his leave. At Elizabeth's urging, John tells Hale he knows that the girl's afflictions are fake.
When Hale responds that many of the accused have confessed, John points out that they were bound to be hanged if they did not; Hale reluctantly acknowledges this point. Suddenly, Giles Corey and Francis Nurse enter the house and inform John and Hale that both of their wives have been arrested on charges of witchcraft; Martha Corey for reading suspicious books and Rebecca Nurse on charges of sacrificing children.
A posse led by clerk Ezekiel Cheever and town marshal George Herrick arrive soon afterwards and present a warrant for Elizabeth's arrest, much to Hale's surprise. Cheever picks up the poppet on Elizabeth's table and finds a needle inside. He informs John that Abigail had a pain-induced fit earlier that evening and a needle was found stuck into her stomach; Abigail claimed that Elizabeth stabbed her with the needle through witchcraft, using a poppet as a conduit.
John brings Mary into the room to tell the truth; Mary asserts that she made the doll and stuck the needle into it, and that Abigail saw her do so. Cheever is unconvinced and prepares to arrest Elizabeth. John becomes greatly angered, tearing the arrest warrant to shreds and threatening Herrick and Cheever with a musket until Elizabeth calms him down and surrenders herself.
He calls Hale a coward and asks him why the accusers' every utterance goes unchallenged. Hale is conflicted, but suggests that perhaps this misfortune has befallen Salem because of a great, secret crime that must be brought to light. Taking this to heart, John orders Mary to go to court with him and expose the other girls' lies, and she protests vehemently. Aware of John's affair, she warns him that Abigail is willing to expose it if necessary. John is shocked but determines the truth must prevail, whatever the personal cost.
The third act takes place thirty-seven days later in the General Court of Salem, during the trial of Martha Corey. Francis and Giles desperately interrupt the proceedings, demanding to be heard. The court is recessed and the men thrown out of the main room, reconvening in an adjacent room. Danforth then informs an unaware John that Elizabeth is pregnant, and promises to spare her from execution until the child is born, hoping to persuade John to withdraw his case.
John refuses to back down and submits a deposition signed by ninety-one locals attesting to the good character of Elizabeth, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey. Herrick also attests to John's truthfulness as well. The deposition is dismissed by Parris and Hathorne as illegal.
Hale criticizes the decision and demands to know why the accused are forbidden to defend themselves. Danforth replies that given the "invisible nature" of witchcraft, the word of the accused and their advocates cannot be trusted. He then orders that all ninety-one persons named in the deposition be arrested for questioning. Giles Corey submits his own deposition, accusing Thomas Putnam of forcing his daughter to accuse George Jacobs in order to buy up his land as convicted witches have to forfeit all of their property.
When asked to reveal the source of his information, Giles refuses, fearing that he or she will also be arrested. When Danforth threatens him with arrest for contempt , Giles argues that he cannot be arrested for "contempt of a hearing. John submits Mary's deposition, which declares that she was coerced to accuse people by Abigail. Abigail denies Mary's assertions that they are pretending, and stands by her story about the poppet. When challenged by Parris and Hathorne to 'pretend to be possessed', Mary is too afraid to comply.
John attacks Abigail's character, revealing that she and the other girls were caught dancing naked in the woods by Rev. Parris on the night of Betty Parris' alleged 'bewitchment'. When Danforth begins to question Abigail, she claims that Mary has begun to bewitch her with a cold wind and John loses his temper, calling Abigail a whore.
He confesses their affair, says Abigail was fired from his household over it and that Abigail is trying to murder Elizabeth so that she may "dance with me on my wife's grave.
Danforth brings Elizabeth in to confirm this story, beforehand forbidding anyone to tell her about John's testimony. Unaware of John's public confession, Elizabeth fears that Abigail has revealed the affair in order to discredit John and lies, saying that there was no affair, and that she fired Abigail out of wild suspicion.
Hale begs Danforth to reconsider his judgement, now agreeing Abigail is "false", but to no avail; Danforth throws out this testimony based solely upon John's earlier assertion that Elizabeth would never tell a lie. Confusion and hysteria begin to overtake the room.
Abigail and the girls run about screaming, claiming Mary's spirit is attacking them in the form of a yellow bird, which nobody else is able to see.
When Danforth tells the increasingly distraught Mary that he will sentence her to hang, she joins with the other girls and recants all her allegations against them, claiming John Proctor forced her to turn her against the others and that he harbors the devil. John, in despair and having given up all hope, declares that " God is dead ", and is arrested.
Furious, Reverend Hale denounces the proceedings and quits the court. Act Four takes place three months later in the town jail, early in the morning.
Tituba, sharing a cell with Sarah Good, appears to have gone insane from all of the hysteria, hearing voices and now actually claiming to talk to Satan. Marshal Herrick, depressed at having arrested so many of his neighbors, has turned to alcoholism. Many villagers have been charged with witchcraft; most have confessed and been given lengthy prison terms and their property seized by the government; twelve have been hanged; seven more are to be hanged at sunrise for refusing to confess, including John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey.
Giles Corey was tortured to death by pressing as the court tried in vain to extract a plea; by holding out, Giles ensured that his sons would receive his land and possessions. The village has become dysfunctional with so many people in prison or dead, and with the arrival of news of rebellion against the courts in nearby Andover , whispers abound of an uprising in Salem.
Abigail, fearful of the consequences, steals Parris's life savings and disappears on a ship to England with Mercy Lewis. Danforth and Hathorne have returned to Salem to meet with Parris, and are surprised to learn that Hale has returned and is meeting with the condemned.
Parris, who has lost everything to Abigail, reports that he has received death threats. He begs Danforth to postpone the executions in order to secure confessions, hoping to avoid executing some of Salem's most well-regarded citizens. Hale, deeply remorseful and blaming himself for the hysteria, has returned to counsel the condemned to falsely confess and avoid execution. He presses Danforth to pardon the remaining seven and put the entire affair behind them.
Danforth refuses, stating that pardons or postponement would cast doubt on the veracity of previous confessions and hangings. Danforth and Hale summon Elizabeth and ask her to persuade John to confess. She is bitter towards Hale, both for doubting her earlier and for wanting John to give in and ruin his good name, but agrees to speak with her husband, if only to say goodbye.
She and John have a lengthy discussion, during which she commends him for holding out and not confessing. John says he is refusing to confess not out of religious conviction but through contempt for his accusers and the court. The two finally reconcile, with Elizabeth forgiving John and saddened by the thought that he cannot forgive himself and see his own goodness. Knowing in his heart that it is the wrong thing for him to do, John agrees to falsely confess to engaging in witchcraft, deciding that he has no desire or right to be a martyr.
Danforth, Hathorne, and a relieved Parris ask John to testify to the guilt of the other hold-outs and the executed. John refuses, saying he can only report on his own sins. Danforth is disappointed by this reluctance, but at the urging of Hale and Parris, allows John to sign a written confession, to be displayed on the church door as an example. John is wary, thinking his verbal confession is sufficient. As they press him further John eventually signs, but refuses to hand the paper over, stating he does not want his family and especially his three sons to be stigmatized by the public confession.
The men argue until Proctor renounces his confession entirely, ripping up the signed document. Danforth calls for the sheriff and John is led away, to be hanged. Facing an imminent rebellion, Putnam and Parris frantically run out to beg Proctor to confess. Hale, guilty over John's death, pleads with Elizabeth to talk John around but she refuses, stating John has "found his goodness".
During the McCarthy era, German-Jewish novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger became the target of suspicion as a left-wing intellectual during his exile in the US. In Feuchtwanger wrote a play about the Salem witch trials , Wahn oder der Teufel in Boston Delusion, or The Devil in Boston , as an allegory for the persecution of communists, thus anticipating the theme of The Crucible by Arthur Miller; Wahn premiered in Germany in Original Broadway cast: In June Miller recast the production, simplified the "pitiless sets of rude buildings" and added a scene.
In , the year the play debuted, Miller wrote, " The Crucible is taken from history. No character is in the play who did not take a similar role in Salem, Abigail Williams' age was increased from 11 or 12  to 17, probably to add credence to the backstory of Proctor's affair with Abigail.
John Proctor himself was 60 years old in , but portrayed as much younger in the play, for the same reason. Miller claimed, in A note on the historical accuracy of this play , that "while there were several judges of almost equal authority, I have symbolized them all in Hathorne and Danforth". Both men were subsequent Deputy Governors, but it was Stoughton who, alone among the judges, was a bachelor who never married  who ordered further deliberations after the jury initially acquitted Rebecca Nurse.
He refused to ever acknowledge that the trials had been anything other than a success, and was infuriated when Governor Phips whose own wife, somehow, had been named as a possible witch ended the trials for good and released the prisoners. Danforth did not sit on the Court of Oyer and Terminer. In fact he is recorded as being critical of the conduct of the trials, and played a role in bringing them to an end. In real life, the Putnams who both died in were survived by ten of their twelve children, including Ann Jr.
Thomas Putnam's conduct during the witch trial hysteria has been amply documented to have been almost entirely due to financial motivations and score-settling, something the play only makes reference to after introducing the Putnams' fictional deceased offspring as part of the plot narrative. In the essay, Journey to The Crucible , Miller writes of visiting Salem and feeling like the only one interested in what really happened in Parris issued his first in a series of apologies on November 26, , and was removed from his position in A crucible is defined as a severe test.
Write an essay discussing the significance of the title. What is "the crucible" within the play and how does it bring about change or reveal an individual's true character? As a minister, Reverend Parris is supposed to devote himself to the spiritual welfare of the inhabitants of Salem.
Write an essay discussing Parris' concerns and motivations. Is he an effective minister? Write an essay discussing Proctor's relationship with Abigail. Why did Proctor have an affair, and what prompted him to end his affair with Abigail?
Compare and contrast Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams. What are their individual positive character traits? How do they feel about Proctor? She is a moral woman, devoted to upholding the truth. Discuss Elizabeth's behavior in the court. What prompts her to lie? Write an essay discussing Abigail's plan to get rid of Elizabeth. Is the play a fulfillment of the spell she cast in the woods with Tituba? Write an essay discussing the effects of the witch trials on Salem.
How do the trials affect the community? He later changes his mind. Explain why he refuses to confess.
- Long Essay - The Crucible q How is language used in The Crucible to express the emotional intensity if characters in conflict with each other and/or society and to convey the abstract ideas that emerge through that conflict.
The Crucible essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
The Crucible Essay The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller, one of the leading American playwrights of the twentieth century, in It is based on the events surrounding the witch trials of Salem. I. Thesis Statement: One central motif of The Crucible is the importance of a good name. The meaning of a good name to John Proctor at the end of the play, however, is vastly different from the good name that Reverend Parris seeks.
The Crucible essays In Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, three characters John Proctor, judge Danforth, and Abigail Williams all value their reputation. These characters in The Crucible have strong feelings about how others view their overall quality or character. The Crucible Essay Examples. total results. An Analysis of American's History in Arthur Miller's Play The Crucible. words. Kennedy's View on Problems in Miller's The Crucible and Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. words. 1 page. An Analysis of the Character in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. 1, words.