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___________________________The Crucible by Arthur Miller


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Crucible

Quick/Fast Summary:

The play takes place in Salem, Massachusetts during the 17th century and is based on a true event. The fact that the story takes place during the 17th century is important as the community needed to be superstitious and gullible in order for this incident to actually happen. Also, the event needed to be in a Puritan society wherein an aversion to witches existed. People in the twentieth and even the nineteenth centuries would be too skeptical about the supernatural to believe the girls. Also, they would be likely to dismiss the act of dancing in the forest as just a little game.

As the play begins, the audience learns that some girls were caught dancing naked in the woods by Reverend Parris. Apparently they had conjured up spirits and this led to the accusations of the girls as witches. In order to escape punishment, they accuse other women of the town of being witches. This leads to trials of these women with the girls as the jury.

John Proctor is having an affair with Abigail and Elizabeth Proctor knows of the affair. In order to get Elizabeth out of the picture, Abigail accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch. A doll is found in the Proctor's house and this is overwhelming evidence that she is a witch.

Deputy Governor Danforth is the judge. He believes the girls are telling the truth. Meanwhile they are accusing the women whom they do not like. Reverend Hale is called in as an expert witness. He at first believes that the women are witches, but then he denies it and tries to help the accused.

Proctor gets Mary Warren to testify against the girls. When Mary Warren enters the court room, Abigail and the other girls start to scream that she is sending her spirit upon them. Mary then afraid, accuses John Proctor of sending his spirit out upon her.

John is now accused of being in league with the devil. He discusses the possibility of lying in order to save his life. Danforth wants him to sign a confession. This way it will show the townspeople that the witch trials are valid. John does not want to sign the confession because he doesn't want to incriminate his friends. He is then put to death, but retains his good name and pride.

 

 

  • Biography of Arthur Miller

  • Character List

  • About The Crucible

  • Quick/Fast Summary

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Act One

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Act Two

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Act Three

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Act Four

  • Studyworld Essay Search on The Crucible

     

     

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