Why Is The Crucible So Called

How is ‘The Crucible’ appropriately titled?
The word ‘crucible’ is used by Arthur Miller in his play as a metaphor. The first definition of the word crucible is: a melting pot especially for metals. In the play this is first acknowledged during the first act, as we gradually piece together the information concerning the girls dancing. The ‘kettle’ viewed by Reverend Parris mirrors a crucible. We are told that the girls had made a brew which contained a little frog and blood is therefore viewed by the characters involved as a potent, fearsome mixture and this signifies the beginning of the Salem tragedy. It seems that from this ‘brew’ a ...

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were an offence not only against God but also against the community. Therefore there was pressure for neighbours to reveal other’s sin. The desire for privacy makes one suspect others because if they do not convict others it looks as if they themselves might have something to hide. It is ironic that Reverend Parris says that the witchcraft investigation might reveal the source of all the community’s problems ‘Why, Rebecca, we may open up the boil of all our troubles today’ because in the end the witchcraft investigation provokes the burning down and destruction of the community.
The witch trials are also metaphorically a melting pot, again, for people’s grudges, and their seeking of revenge. The play shows us also how people can give into their fear and superstition. The trials are not really about witchcraft, Abigail admits to John in private how the witchery is a hoax ‘We were dancing in the woods last night and my uncle leaped out on ...

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to jail.
The purpose of a crucible is to melt things in and for this you need very high temperatures. This is illustrated in the play, when the judge Danforth says to Proctor in Act Three ‘We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment’. The court scenes were times of tension, intensity, pressure and conflicts between powerful authority refusing to realise they have signed away innocent lives on the strength of a lie. Also things are permanently and physically changed in a crucible, they are turned from one thing into another. This is reflected in the play by the fact that many things in the play are exerted to high pressure and pushed to the limits of reason due ...

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Added: 9/16/2006 03:03:00 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2265
Pages: 9

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