Salem is a Puritan community, and its inhabitants live in an extremely restrictive society. Although the Puritans left England to avoid religious persecution, they established a society in America founded upon religious intolerance. Government and religious authority are virtually inseparable, and individuals who question local authority are accused of questioning divine authority. The Puritan community considers physical labor and strict adherence to religious doctrine the best indicators of faithfulness, honesty, and integrity.
Her apparently incurable illness sets in motion the action of the play, which centers on the historic Salem witch trials.
Ann has no living children and envies happier mothers, while land-rich Thomas stands to gain still more if some of his neighbors are indicted. One neighbor is John Proctor, who appears while the adults are offstage praying, and after Abigail and her girlfriends have discussed what to reveal about Tituba, who indeed performed voodoo rites.
When her girlfriends leave, Abigail attempts to seduce Proctor, who refuses and threatens her with the whip. The moment he arrives, Hale starts his interrogation of Abigail, who confesses and turns against Tituba, who admits her dark practices.
Afraid of Abigail, Elizabeth implores Proctor to testify at the witch trials in Salem that he heard her earlier claims that the dancing was not connected to witchcraft—claims the girl had indeed made before discovering a better way to save her hide.
At the end of act 2 Hale faces an increasingly painful moral dilemma, exacerbated by unmistakable signs of a judicial system going haywire. This concern leads directly into act 3. Shouts are heard offstage as Corey defends his wife, another accused witch.
Deputy Governor Danforth, not an unintelligent man, reluctantly hears Corey and Proctor. Sensing the impact of this, Danforth summons Elizabeth and asks her why she dismissed Abigail; she lies to protect her husband, thereby sabotaging his defense. Just as a now-remorseful Hale tries to intervene, the girls, whom Danforth has brought in, start a ghastly pantomime, pretending to have been bewitched by Mary.
They mock her every word until she breaks down and accuses Proctor of having worked with the Devil to extort a false recantation. Act 3 ends with Corey and Proctor thrown into jail and a disgusted Hale quitting the court.
Act 4 commences in a moonlit prison chamber just before dawn, as Danforth and Parris try to bring Proctor to confess so that they can avoid hanging him, with other prominent citizens, for being an unrepentant sinner.
In a clever move, Danforth uses the pregnant Elizabeth, who has been spared from execution, to persuade Proctor to opt for confession and life. To get the most out of his triumph, Danforth asks Proctor to sign his confession, so that it can be posted upon the church door. This, however, is too much for Proctor.
He snatches the confession and tears it apart, ready to die rather than to give false testimony publicly.- The Crucible - John Proctor Arthur Miller’s "The Crucible" illustrates a powerful drama based on the Salem Witch Trials of A very strict theocracy rules Salem; a place where the bible is law and anyone who does follow the rules to the letter, must have dealings with the devil.
When Arthur Miller published The Crucible in the early s, he simply outdid the historians at their own game" (22). This lesson plan's goal is to examine the ways in which Miller interpreted the facts of the witch trials and successfully dramatized them.
Essays and criticism on Arthur Miller, including the works The Man Who Had All the Luck, All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, An Enemy of the People, The Crucible, A Memory of Two Mondays, A View. In their book Salem Possessed, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum remark upon the prominent place the Salem witch trials have in America's cultural consciousness.
They observe, "for most Americans the episode ranks in familiarity somewhere between Plymouth Rock and Custer's last stand" (22). Moreover. Understanding similarities between McCarthyism and The Crucible is the key to understanding symbolism in the play.
Read on for an explanation of communist fear-mongering, as well as symbols in the play such as the doll, the boiling cauldron and others. The people of Arthur Miller's Salem in would consider the very idea of a private life unorthodox.
The government of Salem, and of Massachusetts as a whole, is a theocracy, with the legal system based on the Bible. - In the Crucible by Arthur Miller, the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor is not very clear as they both have.