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Transcript of The Crucible
T H E C R U C I B L E
by Arthur Miller
What's going on in
1950s United States?
What's going on in
and how does it change human behavior?
1. a ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures.
2. a place or occasion of severe test or trial.
3. place/situation in which different elements interact to produce something new.
2nd Red Scare
Post WWII, American's tensions with Communist Russia are intensifying -- COLD WAR
US feels like communism is a threat to our foundation of individual liberty, democracy, capitalism
Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R. Wisconsin) comes out and says he has a list of "communist sypathizers"
Un-American Activities Committee
-- bringing people to trial for questioning to test loyalty to the US
Meant to combat Russian espionage, but ends up attacking many innocent Americans who had "liberal leanings"
If taken to trial, you would be "forgiven" if you confessed your association with the communist party and gave the committee names of others
Puritans are taking a beating from Natives in wars for land
: communities are confused as to why they are
losing the war
if they are
Land is newly settled -- unrest about
Towns are newly built -- unrest about who should be the
1692: Elizabeth (Betty) Parris, Abigail Williams
are two young girls in Salem, the daughter and niece of the minister
Controversial minister -- extreme, not very well-liked
Go out dancing in the night with friends
Mary Warren, Mercy Lewis, and Ruth Putnam and Tituba
, the West Indian slave
Come back and all the girls appear "
All the unrest now has a convenience
-- the devil
Salem Witch Trials
Are these events any different?
Why does this pattern repeat itself throughout history?
The power of relationships
Explain the relationships between...
The Proctors & Abigail Williams
Rebecca Nurse & Thomas Putnam
How does Miller build
What is the role of
Are they treated like children?
The Significant Salemites
Rev. Samuel Parris
Goody Parris (dead)
Goody Anne Putnam
7 Still births
Goody Elizabeth Proctor
Goody Rebecca Nurse
11 Sons & Daughters
SUPPORTED FOR MINISTER
DOESN'T GO TO
Explain this quote...
"Since 1692 a great but superficial change has wiped out God’s beard and the devils horns, but the world is still gripped between two ever diametrically opposed absolutes."
How do the events progress?
Abigail: I never sold myself! I'm a good girl! Im a proper girl!
Mrs. Putnam enters with Tituba, and instantly Abigail points at Tituba.
Abigail: She made me do it! She made Betty do it!
frightened by the coming process
: Mister Reverend, I do believe
somebody else be witchin' these children.
Parris: You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death,
Hale: When the Devil comes to you does he ever come - with another person? S
he stares up into his face,
Perhaps another person in the village? Someone you know.
with rising exaltation
: You are God's instrument put in our hands to discover the Devil's agents among us. You are selected, Tituba, you are chosen to help us cleanse our village. So speak utterly, Tituba, turn your back on him and face God - face God, Tituba, and God will protect you.
in a fury
: He say Mr. Parris must be kill! Mr. Parris no goodly man, Mr. Parris mean man and no gentle man, and he bid me rise out of my bed and cut your throat! They gasp. But I tell him no! I don't hate that man. I don't want kill that man ... And then he come one stormy night to me, and he say, Look! I have white people belong to me. And I look - and there was Goody Good.
Hale: Take courage, you must give us all their names. How can you bear to see this child suffering? Look at her, Tituba ... God will bless you for your help.
Abigail: I want to open myself!
They turn to her, startled. She is enraptured, as though in a pearly light.
I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop
with the Devil!
is tied up in
Should children be treated as adults?
What happens when they are?
You are here:
You are here:
You are here:
"You were alone with her?"
What's going on in the Proctor marriage?
Let you go to Ezekiel Cheever - he knows you well. And tell him what she said to you last week in her uncle’s house. She said it had naught to do with witchcraft, did she not?
in thought: Aye, she did, she did. Now, a pause.
quietly, fearing to anger him by prodding: God for-bid you keep that from the court, John. I think they must be told.
quietly, struggling with his thought: Aye, they must, they must. It is a wonder they do believe her.
I would go to Salem now, John - let you go tonight.
I’ll think on it.
with her courage now: You cannot keep it, John,
angering: I know I cannot keep it. I say I will think on it!
hurt, and very coldly: Good, then, let you think on it. She stands and starts to walk out of the room.
I am only wondering how I may prove what she told me,
If the girl’s a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove she’s fraud, and the town gone so silly. She told it to me in a room alone - I have no proof for it.
You were alone with her?
stubbornly: For a moment alone, aye.
Why, then, it is not as you told me.
, his anger rising: For a moment, I say. The others come in soon after.
quietly - she has suddenly lost all faith in him: Do as you wish, then.
She starts to turn.
Woman. She turns to him. I’ll not have your suspicion anymore.
a little loftily: I have no -
I’ll not have it!
Then let you not earn it.
with a violent undertone: You doubt me yet?
with a smile, to keep her dignity: John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now? I think not.
Now look you -
I see what I see, John.
with solemn warning: You will not judge me more, Elizabeth. I have good reason to think before I charge fraud on Abigail, and I will think on it. Let you look to your own im-provement before you go to judge your husband anymore. I have forgot Abigail, and -
Could you forgive someone for cheating?
Is their marriage worth fighting for?
Is there love between them?
How does she change?
Enter Mary Warren, breathless. She is seventeen, a subservient, naive, lonely girl.
Mary Warren: Abby, we've got to tell. Witchery's a hangin' error, a hangin' like they done in Boston two year ago! We must tell the truth, Abby! You'll only be whipped for dancin', and the other things!
with hysterical fright:
What's got her?
Abigail stares in fright at Betty.
Abby, she's going to die! It's a sin to conjure, and we --
Enter John Proctor. On seeing him, Mary Warren leaps in fright.
Why has her behavior changed?
What does this sudden change in behavior suggest about the nature of her confession and her new "role" in the court?
holding back a full condemnation of her: It is a fault, it is a fault, Elizabeth – you’re the mistress here, not Mary Warren.
She frightened all my strength away.
How may that mouse frighten you, Elizabeth? You -
It is a mouse no more. I forbid her go, and she raises up her chin like the daughter of a prince and lays to me, “I must go to Salem, Goody Proctor; I am an official of the court!”
: I am sick, I am sick Mr. Proctor. Pray, pray hurt me not.
Her strangeness throws him off, and her evident pallor and weakness.
with an indignant edge
: She tried to kill me many times, Goody Proctor!
: I’ll official you!
He strides to the mantel, takes down the whip hanging there.
terrified, but coming erect, striving for her authority
: I’ll not stand whipping any more!
hurriedly, as Proctor approaches
: Mary, promise now you’ll stay at home -
backing from him, but keeping her erect posture, striving, striving for her way
: The Devil is loose in Salem, Mr. Proctor; we must discover where he’s hiding!
: I’ll whip the Devil out of you!
With whip raised he reaches out for her, and she streaks away and yells.
pointing at Elizabeth
: I saved her life today!
What's the deal with
By the end of the Act, which other characters have been accused and arrested for witchcraft?
Who do you suspect named each person? Why?
Were any of these people on your "negative" side as you were reading? Did they deserve to be named?
I made a gift for you today, Goody Proctor. I had to sit long hours in a chair, and passed the time with sewing.
perplexed, looking at the doll
: Why, thank you, it’s a fair poppet.
with a trembling, decayed voice
: We must all love each other now, Goody Proctor.
: I think she’ll wake in time. Pray calm your-selves. I have eleven children, and I am twenty-six times a grandma, and I have seen them all through their silly seasons, and when it come on them
they will run the Devil bowlegged keeping up with their mischief. I think she’ll wake when she tires of it. A child’s spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back,
"Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small..."
God keep you both; let the third child be quickly baptized, and go you without fail each Sunday in to Sabbath prayer; and keep a solemn, quiet way among you. I think –
Giles Corey appears in doorway.
: Giles! What’s the matter?
: They take my wife. Francis Nurse enters.
: And his Rebecca! Proctor,
Rebecca’s in the jail
: Aye, Cheever come and take her in his wagon. We’ve only now come from the jail, and they’ll not even let us in to see them.
Who deserves to go down? Who is truly
: The girl, the Williams girl, Abigail Williams, sir. She sat to dinner in Reverend Parris’s house tonight, and without word nor warnin’ she falls to the floor. Like a struck beast, he says, and screamed a scream that a bull would weep to hear. And he goes to save her, and, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out. And demandin’ of her how she come to be so stabbed, she -
to Proctor now
- testify it -were your wife’s familiar spirit pushed it in.
Who's behind this?
+ or -
Choose one quote from Act II and explain it's significance. Explain why this quote is the most important moment in Act II.
EACH MEMBER MUST USE DIFFERENT QUOTE.
"I say -- God is dead!"
How does Mary Warren
Mary is constantly changing her story and her personality. She is, afterall, a child. Why is this problematic? Why does she become so important in Act III?
to the ceiling, in a genuine conversation with the bird, as though trying to talk it out of attacking her
: But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin, Mary.
on her feet with a spring, and horrified, pleading
unperturbed, continuing to the ‘bird’
: Oh, Mary, this is a black art to change your shape. No, I cannot, I cannot stop my mouth; it’s God’s work I do.
: Abby, I’m here!
: They’re pretending, Mr. Danforth!
Why do you come, yellow bird?
She sees nothin’!
now staring full front as though hypnotized, and mimicking the exact tone of Mary Warren’s cry
: She sees nothin’!
: Abby, you mustn’t!
Abigail and all the Girls
: Abby, you mustn’t!
to all the girls
: I’m here, I'm here!
I’m here, I’m here!
sensing her weakening:
Mary, God damns all liars!
pounding it into her
: You have seen the Devil, you have made compact with Lucifer, have you not?
: God damns liars, Mary!
utters something unintelligible, staring at Abigail, who keeps watching the ‘bird’ above.
he and all the girls run to one wall, shielding their eyes. And now, as though cornered, they let out a gigantic scream, and Mary, as though infected, opens her mouth and screams with them. Gradually Abigail and the girls leave op, until only Mary is left there, staring up at the ‘bird,’ screaming madly. All watch her, horrified by this evident fit. Proctor strides to her.
hysterically, indicating Proctor:
He come at me by night and every day to sign, to sign, to –
The Devil’s book? He come with a book?
hysterically, pointing at Proctor, fearful of him
: My name, he want my name. “I’ll murder you,” he says, “if my wife hangs! We must go and overthrow the court,” he says!
: Look at me.
: Aye, sir. Abigail Williams -
She breaks off
: What of Abigail Williams?
: I came to think he fancied her. And so one night I lost my wits, I think, and put her out on the highroad.
: Your husband - did he indeed turn from you?
: My husband - is a goodly man, sir.
: Then he did not turn from you.
starting to glance at Proctor:
reaches out and holds her face, then
: Look at me! To your own knowledge, has John Proctor ever committed the crime of lechery?
In a crisis of indecision she cannot speak
, Answer my question! Is your husband a lecher!
: No, sir.
: Remove her, Marshal.
: Elizabeth, tell the truth!
: She has spoken. Remove her!
: Elizabeth, I have confessed it!
: Oh, God!
The door closes behind her.
Situations in which the audience knows more information than the characters, knows the weight of a character's actions and words when the character himself does not.
What does the audience know at this point that Elizabeth doesn't know? Is this fair? Why or why not?
What makes the court of Salem
"No uncorrupted man may fear this court, Mr. Hale! None!"
you must have...
but in Salem, they have...
TO HAVE A JUST COURT OF LAW
How did you feel during these moments? How do the people of Salem feel? Why?
“Fear doesn’t travel well; just as it can warp judgment, its absence can diminish memory’s truth. What terrifies one generation is likely to bring only a puzzled smile to the next…”
"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"
The Gay Science (1882)
, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann
What makes Act III so
-Arthur Miller, "Why I Wrote The Crucible"
-Rev. John Hale
You are here:
Parris: Judge Hathorne - it were another sort that hanged till now. Rebecca Nurse is no Bridget that lived three year with Bishop before she married him. John Proctor is not Isaac Ward that drank his family to ruin. To Danforth: I would to God it were not so, Excellency, but these people have great weight jet in the town. Let Rebecca stand upon the gibbet and send up some righteous prayer, and I fear she’ll wake a vengeance on you.
How have the prisoners changed? How are the first people condemned different from the people about to hang in Act IV?
Why is this change of concern to the people of Salem?
Parris: Excellency, it profit nothing you should blame me. I cannot think they would run off except they fear to keep in Salem any more. He is pleading. Mark it, sir, Abigail had close knowledge of the town, and since the news of Andover has broken here -
What does Abigail decide to do in the beginning of Act IV?
What does her decision tell you about the quality of her character? (...As if she hadn't already made it clear)
: You misunderstand, sir; I cannot pardon these when twelve are already hanged for the same crime. It is not just.
…Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now. While I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering. If retaliation is your fear, know this - I should hang ten thousand that dared to rise against the law, and an ocean of salt tears could not melt the resolution of the statutes.
What motivates Danforth? Why won't he back down?
Is this a good reason to continue holding the trials? Why or why not?
we supposed to
with great relief and gratitude:
Praise to God, man, praise to God; you shall be blessed in Heaven for this.
Cheever has hurried to the bench with pen, ink, and paper. Proctor watches him.
Now then, let us have it. Are you ready, Mr. Cheever?
Courage, man, courage - let her witness your good example that she may come to God herself. Now hear it, Goody Nurse! Say on, Mr. Proctor. Did you bind yourself to the Devil’s service?
Mr. Proctor. When the Devil came to you did you see Rebecca Nurse in his company? Proctor is silent. Come, man, take courage - did you ever see her with the Devil?
Proctor, you mistake me. I am not empowered to trade your life for a lie. You have most certainly seen some person with the Devil.
Proctor is silent.
Mr. Proctor, a score of people have already testified they saw this woman with the Devil.
Does this method work on Proctor? On other characters? Why?
Cycle of Blame
How do the characters evolve by the end of the play?
What prompts their evolution?
Arthur Miller said this play was a
Tragedy (from the Greek) is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences. Usually ends with most actors on stage dying, with one person or a few people left behind to tell the story.
: I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are! It is enough!
What's in a
What are the major