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___________________________The Crucible by Arthur Miller


STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Crucible

 

Act One Summary:

 

Act one begins with Reverend Parris praying over his daughter, Betty Parris, who lies unconscious on her bed. Through conversations between Reverend Parris and his niece Abigail Williams, and between several girls, the audience learns that these girls, including Abigail and Betty, were engaged in occultic activities in the forest lead by Tituba, Parris’ slave from Barbados. Parris caught them and jumped from a bush startling the girls. Betty fainted and had not recovered. During this session, Abigail drank chicken blood to kill Elizabeth Proctor. She tells the girls that she will kill anyone who mutters a word about what happened. The townspeople do not know exactly what the girls were doing but there are rumors of witchcraft.

John Proctor enters the room where Betty lies faint. Abigail is still in there and she tries to seduce him. Proctor is a farmer who has had an affair with Abigail a while ago, but now he wants to forget it.

Reverend John Hale is summoned to look upon Betty and research the incident. He is an expert in occultic phenomena and he is eager to show his knowledge. He questions Abigail who accuses Tituba as being a witch. Tituba, afraid of being hanged, confesses faith in God and accuses Goody Good and Goody Osborne of witchcraft. Abigail and Betty, who has woken up, claim to have been bewitched and confess faith in God. They name several other people whom they claim they saw with the Devil.

Review:

The play begins by introducing the lifestyle in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 and the main characters. The Puritans were an extremely pious group of people who believed that it was important to stifle all natural human desires and any form of individuality was condemned. Supernatural powers were used to hold people in line and spread fear within the town. People in the town allowed their fear of witches and the devil to interfere with their rational thinking. Women were expected to obey men and sublimate any of their own needs.

The Puritans were very religious and the church was very important in their daily life. Most people were scared of modern things as they felt that any form of change could destroy the church. They believed in the devil and that you could make pacts with him. It was a horrible sin to lie.

John Proctor, is a rational man with a brusque manner who, like Giles Corey, has no qualms about expressing his opinion. He had to deal with the fact that he had an affair with Abigail and broke the trust between Elizabeth and him. He sinned, and the people of the town would have condemned him, if they knew.

Abigaila is portrayed as a vicious young woman who will do and say anything to keep herself out of trouble. She has no qualms of lying and cheating and eagerly pushes for having the witch trials.

The themes of revenge and fear are introduced. The girls and the accusers named people whom they did not like and wanted to harm them. Fear of the devil allowed the witch trials to materialize..

 

  • 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

    Studyworld Studynotes Listed by TITLES

    Studyworld Studynotes Listed by AUTHORS


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