CP The Crucible Packet 17-18 (1)

The Crucible
Arthur Miller
Background Information:
Written in __________________________________________________.
Based on true events in ____________________________________________ in 1692
Accounts of the witch trials came from actual court documents
FUN FACT: Miller married the motion-picture actress ___________________________ in 1956; they divorced in 1961.
What does the word “crucible” mean?
A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high
o The crucible tipped and the mold filled with liquid metal.
A ___________________________________________________________________________, leading to the
creation of something new.
o Their relationship was forged in the crucible of war.
o Allegory = A fictional literary work in which the
characters and events represent or symbolize other
(usually political) ideas or concepts
Thus, an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal
meaning and a symbolic meaning.
__________________________: A social movement that
aims to create a classless social structure based on
common ownership and production (i.e. everyone gets
equal shares)
There was growing fear that Communism would take
hold in the United States
Senator _____________________________ announced
in 1950 that Communists had infiltrated the Department
of State and he had a list of known Communists working
for the State Department.
McCarthyism came to mean false charges of disloyalty.
________ = House Un-American Activities Committee
o Committee that sought to expose Communist
influence in American life.
o Over 300 entertainers were placed on a blacklist
for possible communist views and were thus
forbidden to work for major Hollywood studios
o _____________________________________.
The Crucible
The Salem Witch Trials:
In the winter of 1692, tensions were running high in
Salem, Massachusetts, over land, industry, and
religious and political leadership.
In short, __________________________________
Over the course of the next eight months, more than
__________________ were accused of being
witches, and ____ were killed.
Putting it altogether…
As a writer, Arthur Miller was concerned about the
_________________________________ in the
United States in the 1950s.
In 1952, he visited Salem and read the court papers
that documented the witch trials, especially a
description of the most vocal accuser, Abigail
Williams, and John Proctor.
Abigail worked for and lived with John and
Elizabeth Proctor, until Elizabeth suddenly fired
Anticipation/Reaction Guide
Part I Directions: Prior to reading The Crucible, in the “Before” column, respond to each statement by putting a plus sign
(+) if you agree with it, a minus sign (-) if you disagree, and a question mark (?) if you are unsure of your belief.
Part II Directions: After reading the story, in the “After” column respond again to the statements.
Admitting to a crime you didn’t commit in order to avoid punishment is wise.
The difference between right and wrong is clear.
It is better to die for what you believe in rather than to lie to save your life.
There is only one correct way to interpret religious texts.
That which doesn’t destroy us only makes us stronger.
It’s more difficult to forgive yourself if the person you have hurt doesn’t forgive
Courage means doing something even though it can be difficult and fearsome.
A person is innocent until proven guilty.
Beliefs in opposition to common values should be illegal.
Justice is best determined in a court of law.
Act I
While reading/listening to Act I, answer the following questions.
1. Why has Reverend Parris sent for a doctor as the play begins?
2. What does Parris question his niece Abigail about?
3. What is Parris’ main concern?
4. Why does Abigail say she was dismissed by the Proctors?
5. Who does Abigail accuse of conjuring spirits at this point?
6. What does Betty Parris reveal about what happened in the woods?
7. What threat does Abigail make to the other girls?
8. What happened in the past between John Proctor and Abigail? How do each of them feel about it now?
9. How does John Proctor feel about Reverend Parris?
10. Why is Reverend Hale in Salem?
11. What does Giles Corey reveal to Reverend Hale?
12. When Abigail is questioned by Reverend Hale, who does she blame? What proof does she offer?
13. What ultimatum is Tituba given?
14. Who does Tituba accuse of being a witch?
15. Why does Abigail start accusing people at this point?
16. Why does Betty Parris start accusing people?
DIRECTIONS. Even before the accusations of witchcraft start, the people of Salem seem to be in the middle of many different conflicts.
After reading Act One of The Crucible, identify the reasons for the conflicts between the characters listed. This will be essential
information to know as the community starts tearing itself apart.
John Proctor
John Proctor
John Proctor
Putnam Family
Nurse Family
John Proctor &
Rebecca Nurse
Putnam and
Tituba and the
Salem Adults
Act II
While reading/listening to Act II, answer the following questions.
1. What duty has Mary Warren been performing in Salem?
2. What does Elizabeth Proctor report to her husband about the trials in Salem? What does she urge John to do?
3. What gift does Mary Warren present to Elizabeth?
4. What ominous revelation does Mary Warren make about Elizabeth's reputation? How does this disclosure serve to make
the quarrel between Elizabeth and John even more heated?
5. What are some of the ways in which John Hale questions Proctor and his wife about their religious faith? How do the
Proctors answer each of the questions and allegations?
6. What theological argument does John Hale use to explain the causes of the events in Salem?
7. What conflict does John Proctor face at the end of the act?
8. Explain how each of the following is an example of verbal, situational, or dramatic irony:
9. Explain John Proctor's allusion as he tells Hale, "Pontius Pilate! God will not let you wash your hands of this!"
10. The end of this act hints that the most important conflict in the play, will take place between two specific characters—a
protagonist and an antagonist. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist?
Metaphor = a comparison between two unlike things by literally saying that one thing is something else.
EX: “She is a goddess.” Well, regardless of what one might want to believe, she is literally not a goddess. But, she is being
compared to a goddess in order to show that she is beautiful, divine, magnificent, etc.
Got it?
One of the ways Arthur Miller conveys the Puritan Setting and central thematic images of The Crucible is through the use of
metaphoric language. Read the following lines from Act Two, and work with your group to determine the meaning behind the
metaphors. After looking at the metaphoric language that Miller’s characters speak, create a metaphor to describe Mary Warren,
Hale, or Abigail. Write your answers in the spaces provided.
Proctor: “a funeral marches round
your heart.”
Elizabeth: “the magistrate sits in your
Proctor: “I will curse her hotter than
the oldest cinder.”
Hale: “Theology is a fortress.”
Francis Nurse: “My wife is the very
brick and mortar of the church.”
Proctor: “Vengeance is walking in
Abigail is the root of all evil in
While reading/listening to Act III, answer the following questions.
1. As the act opens, who is being interrogated, and on what charge?
2. What is Mary Warren now prepared to tell the court?
3. What compromise, or deal, does Danforth offer to Proctor? What is Proctor's response?
4. What does Giles Corey allege in his deposition about Thomas Putnam’s motives?
5. At what point does John Hale begin to show that he is less than satisfied with the court's procedures?
6. How does Abigail threaten Danforth?
7. What confession does Proctor make in open court? How does Danforth test the truth of this confession?
8. What happens to John Proctor at the end of the act?
9. How does John Hale show his disapproval?
10. This act contains much irony. Explain how the following are ironic:
John Proctor's confession –
b. Proctor's passionate outburst at the end of the act with the court's interpretation of his remarks –
Miller's comment in the stage directions that Abigail, "out of her infinite charity, reaches out and draws the sobbing
Mary to her…" –
When a writer wants to describe a character to the reader, he or she can do it a couple of different ways:
Direct characterization – the author or narrator makes direct statements about a character’s traits. The author tells us about the
character’s personality to our face.
TELLING: Ex. “The woman was cruel, holding nothing back when criticizing her children.”
Explanation: The author is directly TELLING us that the she was a “cruel” woman.
Indirect characterization – We learn through the character’s:
Relationships with others
Ex: When Jane walked in the room, nobody could help but look at her stunning, gorgeous face. She commanded attention
wherever she went due to her good looks.
What does this SHOW us about Jane?
Ex: Jim was very unlike any other businessman. He made sure that all his clients got what they had paid for.
What does this SHOW us about Jim?
Indirect/Direct Characterization task—
Choose one character from the play below to make a dating profile for. Be creative, but try to align it with how the character acts in
the play. Refer to the notes above for the direct and indirect characterization portion.
 In the top left box, write the character’s name, age, what you would imagine might be his/her perfect date (keep it PG-13),
and THREE adjectives you would use to describe his/her personality.
Under “Profile Picture”, draw a representation of this character. You can literally draw what this person is described as (BE
SPECIFIC), OR you can illustrate something that represents this person (EX: You can draw a Bible for Rebecca Nurse since
she is described as being a Holy woman; you can draw a poppet for Mary Warren since she gave it to Goody Proctor; etc.)
In the blank space underneath name, write a 5-7 sentence paragraph OR 5-7 bullet points that details this person’s dating
profile. You are basically describing the character’s likes, dislikes, behaviors, mannerisms, etc. One sentence needs to use
direct characterization; one other sentence needs to use indirect characterization. Rewrite these two sentences in the
space provided below the box.
Direct Characterization
Perfect Date:
Indirect Characterization
Profile Picture
What does this SHOW
about your character?
Act IV
While reading/listening to Act IV, answer the following questions.
1. What is the setting of this act? How much time has elapsed since the end of Act Three?
2. Immediately after his entrance Governor Danforth remarks on a "prodigious stench." What is the cause of the odor?
3. What does Samuel Parris report about Abigail Williams and Mercy Lewis and why is he afraid for his safety? What is
Danforth's reaction?
4. Why is Danforth especially nervous about rumors concerning events in Andover? What are his reasons for receiving no
pleas for pardon or for postponement of the executions?
5. According to John Hale, what is the present condition of the countryside?
6. According to Elizabeth, how did Giles Corey die?
7. For what does Elizabeth ask John to forgive her?
8. Why does Proctor refuse to sign his confession?
9. Why does Danforth want a written confession from Proctor?
10. Why does John ultimately choose his “goodness”?
11. What was Miller’s purpose in writing this play in the 1950’s (HINT: think about McCarthyism and what Miller was trying
to do)?
Historical Connections:
Nineteen accused witches were hanged on Gallows Hill: Bridget Bishop, George Burroughs, Martha Carrier, Martha Corey,
Mary Easty, Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, George Jacobs, George Jacobs Sr., Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse, Alice Parker,
Mary Parker, John Proctor, Ann Pudeator, Wilmott Redd, Margaret Scott, Samuel Wardwell, Sara Wildes, and John Willard.
Giles Corey was pressed to death. As many as thirteen others may have died in prison.
Character Development—Use all the information and details you have learned about John Hale, Giles Corey and John Proctor
to fill in the graphic organizer below with as many (at least SIX) adjectives as possible to describe each character.
1. Choose one adjective you provided for Hale, and explain how that adjective is effective.
2. Choose one adjective you provided for Proctor, and explain how that adjective is effective.
3. Choose one adjective you provided for Corey, and explain how that adjective is effective.
4. Out of the three of these characters, which one transformed the most over the course of the play? Why do you think so?
Final Verdicts—At the end of The Crucible, both Elizabeth and Proctor make choices that involve personal integrity, and both
change their minds. Use the graphic organizer below to help you to recognize the reasons for their choices and understand how
these choices impact the plot and the theme of the play. Then, answer the questions that follow.
At first…
She goes to Proctor to ask if he will
He decides to confess.
She decides not to go to him at the end
to ask if he will confess.
He decides not to sign his confession.
Quote and explanation to support why
she/he made initial choice
Then, she/he changes his/her mind…
Quote and explanation to support why
she/he changed her/his mind
1. Explain why you think that Arthur Miller had his characters make the choices they did in the space provided below.
2. Did John Proctor reach the right decision at the end of the play?
3. If Proctor had made a different decision at the end of the play, what effect would it have had? Which ending would be more
effective? Why?