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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Study Guide

Act I
1. Where and when is the play set?
2. What does Abigail confess to Reverend Parris?
3. What is wrong with Betty Parris?
4. For whom does Abigail work? Whose niece is she?
5. For whom does Mercy Lewis work?
6. For whom does Mary Warren work?
7. How do Rev. Parris' parishioners feel about him?
8. What is John Proctor's attitude toward Parris?
9. What were the girls doing in the woods with Tituba?
10. Thus far, which people feel that witchcraft exists and which do not?
11. What does it mean when Betty can't stand to hear the Lord's name?
12. Who is John Hale? Why has he come to the Parris home?
13. What is the conflict between Putnam and Proctor about?
14. What does Mrs. Putnam believe caused the death of her seven children?
15. What are Parris' feelings toward his congregation?
16. Why do Tituba and the girls call out names at the end of this act? What does Tituba confess and why?
17. Why did Mrs. Putnam send her daughter, Ruth, to see Tituba?
18. Why would the Devil want Rev. Parris' daughter?
19. What does Giles Corey say disturbs him about his wife? How is Corey described?
20. According to Miller, what caused the witch-hunts? How does he describe the witch- hunts?
Act II
1. What is the setting of this act?
2. What does Elizabeth want John to do?
3. Why has John been trying so hard to please his wife these last seven months?
4. Why does Mary Warren say that she had to be in Salem all day?
5. What does Mary bring to Elizabeth?
6. Why does Elizabeth want John to go see Abigail?
7. Why is Rev. Hale going from house to house?
8. Why does John tell Hale that he would testify that Abigail was not really involved with witchcraft?
9. With what has Rebecca Nurse been charged?
10. With what has Martha Corey been charged?
11. With what does Cheever charge Elizabeth?
12. What does Elizabeth say that makes them take her away?
13. Why will Elizabeth not believe in witches?
14. Since the aged Goody Good has been declared pregnant, who is being implicated as the father?
15. Why has Goody Osburn been convicted?
16. At this point, who does Rev. Hale believe is telling the truth- the Proctors or the court?
17. What is the irony in the fact that John Proctor misses the adultery commandment?
18. How does Elizabeth explain that her name has been called out in court?
19. What has Abigail suffered from that very night? What was her plan?
20. At the end of this act, what does John want Mary Warren to do?
1. Where does this act take place?

2. Why is Giles Corey appearing in court?

3. How do you see Rev. Hale beginning to change?
4. Describe Danforth as a judge.
5. Why do Giles and John bring depositions to court?
6. What does the judge reveal about Elizabeth Proctor? Why doesn't John drop his charges against Mary Warren when
told of this news?
7. Who does Rev. Parris support?
8. Why does Giles Corey refuse to reveal the names of the witnesses against Putnam?
9. For what reason is Giles Corey put in jail?
10. What conditions do Hathorne and Proctor agree on regarding Elizabeth's testimony?
11. Why does Elizabeth deny her husband's lechery with Abigail?
12. How does Elizabeth find out the truth about her husband?
13. How does Abigail force Mary Warren to take up the deception and the lying in court?
14. What falsehood does Mary Warren tell, under force, about John Proctor?
15. Who quits the court? What change has this man gone through since the beginning of the trials?
16. What motivates John Proctor to claim that God is dead and vengeance is walking in Salem?
17. As a result of the girls' behavior, of what does Mary accuse Proctor?
18. What does Proctor say when Danforth asks him if he has "trafficked with the devil"?
Act IV
1. What is the setting of this act?
2. What are Sarah Good and Tituba planning to do?
3. Who has come back to plead with the prisoners to confess and save their lives?
4. What does Rev. Parris say has happened to Abigail and Mercy Lewis?
5. According to Parris, what has been happening in Andover?
6. According to Parris, why must Danforth and Hathorne give Hale more time with the prisoners?
7. According to Hale, why has he come back?
8. Why do they call Elizabeth to the cell?
9. How has Giles Corey died?
10. Why has he chosen to die this way? How has he saved his farm for his children?
11. How does Elizabeth respond when John tells her that he might confess?
12. What is John's reasoning for deciding to confess?
13. What does John say when they want him to associate other people with the Devil?
14. Why is John hesitant about signing the paper?
15. Why does he take the paper back and rip it up?
16. Why does Elizabeth say that she will not try to stop John from going to the gallows?
17.Why are orphans wandering from house to house and abandoned cows wandering in the roads?
18. How does Rev. Hale feel about what he is asking these Christians to do?
19. What does Rebecca's refusal to confess say about her character?
General Questions
1. What is a crucible?
2. What is the significance of the title?
3. Are the girls insane? If not, why do they act as they do?
4. What is the major conflict in the play? Give both the kind of conflict and the specific conflict.
5. What is the theme of The Crucible?
6. Could a similar situation happen today (reputations ruined by innuendo)? Why or why not?