The he deals with difficult situations brought

The title of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” plays a significant role due to the words various meanings, in which reflect major themes of the play; such as hysteria or guilt. The metaphoric meaning of the word crucible is to purify metals or other substances in a metal container, usually by fire. Although in Salem, the burning fire does not purify but creates chaos and corruption. The literary meaning is also used – a situation of severe trial, as the focus of the play are the trials that corrupt the city of Salem. Throughout this play about the Salem witch trials, “The Crucible” serves as a test; as the characters face severe situations which challenge their vulnerability as characters. Antagonist John Proctor is the most pressured character, the play allows the audience to  view him as the central character; he deals with difficult situations brought about by his affair with Abigail Williams. Scenes that take place in the court demonstrate intensity due to the thought of death, causing John to become powerless when deciding whether to confess or be hung.

John Proctor’s internal conflicts between self protection over the safety of others weighs his decision, choosing to endanger his own life, he is hung. Speaking his final words Proctor asks his wife, “Would you give them such as lie? You would not; if tongs of fire were singeing you, you would not.” This makes it clear John Proctor sees his future, here Miller uses the text to make connections between Salem and Hell. Miller continues to isolate Salem and Hell as similar locations continuing, “A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! ..

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. And we will burn, we will burn together. When the blame of witchery is passed from person to person, the definition of the title “Crucible” too is changing. Arthur Miller creates a bond between this character and the title “The Crucible” and the community he is trying to represent.

Due to this chain of events, every character accused of witchcraft is mentally challenged being controlled by guilt; just as John Proctor. The “crucible” is acting as the flame who has power over what is being separated or “purified.” The initial accusations began due to mass hysteria as Tituba, who was a slave blamed for being a witch, was faced with intense proposition confessed falsey to witchery.

Tituba claims she has not spoke to the devil crying, ” I don’t compact with no Devil!,” but with threats from Parris saying, “You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba!” She later asks for help pleading, “Aye, sir, a good Christian woman.” Tituba used this opportunity to avoid death, although having avoided the circumstances; Mrs. Putnam turns and without logical evidence, besides Abigail’s word she accuses Tituba yelling, “This woman must be hanged!, She must be taken and hanged!” This scene reveals the ways hysteria was put to action, how a single act could tear apart a small community. The effect of the small community and recognition of every character is to show even neighbors who personally know each other were no longer trusted when accused of witchcraft. Hysteria grows because accusers were not only saving themselves by not taking the blame, but benefit from accusing people they seek revenge on. An example of a character’s desire for revenge is Judge Mrs Patnam who believes that a witch is responsible for the loss of her seven infant children. Her jealousy for Rebecca, the nurse’s clean and kind hearted reputation leads Mrs.

Ann Putnam to accuse Rebecca of being a witch. In Act I, Mrs. Putnam and Nurse Rebecca exchange conversation; Mrs. Putnam starting with, “Rebecca, the doctor’s baffled!” As mother of had been eight accuses supernatural forces, Rebecca adds, “If so he is, then let us go to God for the cause of it.

But Mrs Putnam sees the only way to achieve justice is for someone to take the blame; that someone later being Nurse Rebecca. Husband Thomas Putnam also accused others for the sake of self benefit as he systematically accused his neighbors of witchcraft in order to obtain their land after executed. He and his wife were driven by greed alongside careless acts of hatred. This form of separation in attempt to save the city is a form of the metal being purified, although with this attempt harming respected, innocent minds of the town. When mass hysteria rises, the people of Salem are caught up in their reputations, it causes them to not act normally; making someone does take the fault.By reflecting Miller’s effective title throughout the text, he prompts his audience to apply metaphor and acknowledge situations in history.

The major relevance of title “The Crucible” can be found in the recurring theme of the text. A crucible can be used to separate or discard impurities in the substance, acting as the Salem witch trials. In attempt to separate the good in the presence of evil, many virtuous people were hung due to mass hysteria and pressure caused by “The Crucible”. The significance of the title is found directly in the text, proving the appropriateness of “The Crucible”; both the literal and metaphoric definition.

 

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