The Crucible Notes Background: * Based on purity of religion * People are fearful of witches * They have their own unique vocabulary * H. L. Mencken’s definition: “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun. ” * Their life is based on religion, prayer, God and work Puritan Legacy Pros and Cons: * Pros: They have a strong work ethic * Cons: They are harsh and judgmental They have strong discipline including public shame and twisted morality Theocracy (n. ) a form of government; NO separation or church and state Crucible (n. 1. A container able to withstand great heat 2. Molten collection space 3. A severe test or trial The Playwright: Arthur Miller- * Themes: Family relationships, morality, and personal responsibility * He is from New York City * He lived through the Great Depression * Won The Pulitzer Prize in 1949 for Death of a Salesman * He wasn’t a very good student * Arthur Miller’s involvement with McCarthyism inspiration * He’s a legend ACT I 1) Setting: * Salem, Massachusetts in 1962 * Reverend Parris’s house In the upstairs bedroom of Betty Parris 2) Characters: * Reverend Parris: -In his 60’s –He used to be a business man –Dislikes children –Is a slave owner –Graduated from Harvard –Has lots of money –Is a widower -Is pious, trusting and powerful * Betty Parris: -10 years old –Rev. Parris’s daughter –Inert * Tituba: -In her 40’s –A slave from Barbados –Betty’s mother figure * Abigail “Abby” Williams: -17 years old –strikingly beautiful –young –Reverend Parris’s niece –An orphan John and Elizabeth Proctor: -Farmers –Well respected –Elizabeth has been sick * Reverend Hale: -In his 40’s –From Beverly –Very smart –Witchcraft “specialist” * Sarah Good: -Older woman –Widowed –Homeless * Goody Osburn: -Older woman –Half witted –Begs * Mary Warren: -18 years old –“nanny” for the Proctors (7 months after Abby was) -subservient * Thomas and Ann Putnam: -Landowners –Not respected –Ann has lost 7 infants * Ruth Putnam: 10 years old –Friends with Betty –Inert * Mercy Lewis: -18 years old –nanny for the Putnams –Fat –Merciless –Abby’s right hand friend * Sasanna Wilcott: -17 years old –Dr.
G’s personal assistant * Francis and Rebecca Nurse: -In their 70’s –landowners –Have lots of money –Are respected –Have 11 kids and 26 grandchildren * Martha Corey: -In her 50’s –Loud –Annoying –Devoted -3rd wife –Attention seeking * Giles Corey: -About 83 –Strong –Stubborn –Nosy 3) Vocabulary: * Inert (adj. ) Not moving (in a coma) * Dissembler (adj. ) Take apart personality traits (fake; manipulative) * Subservient (adj. ) Easily bossed around * Providence (n. ) A sign from God; good or bad * Prodigious (adj. ) Big (of importance) * Fathom (v. ) To understand (emphasize) * Incubus (n. A male demon (Incubi for plural) * Succubus (n. ) A female demon (Succubi for plural) * Licentious (adj. ) Poor moral behavior 4) Symbols: * The number 3: from holy to witching evil * The number 7: holy and lucky * Colors: White = Purity; Sinless. Blush (Red or Scarlet) = SIN Black = Evil * Geography: The forest = The Devils playground ACT II 1) Setting: * Eight days later, five miles out * On the Proctor Farm 2) Characters: * Herrick: -In his 30’s –The Marshall –The “law” * Cheever: -Much older man –Ad imterim deputy –formerly Salem’s tailor 3) Vocabulary: * Poppet (n. ) A ragdoll Lechery (n. ) Adultery. (Female-Whore or Harlot; Male-Letcher) 4) Symbols: * Seasons: winter and spring * Winter = cold emotions * Spring = renewal of warm emotions ACT III 1) Setting: * Three days later * At the Salem Meeting House (for court) 2) Characters: * Deputy Governor Danforth: -In his 60’s –A Judge from Boston –Harsh –Has a big ego –Has a fairness for justice * Judge Hathorne: -In his late 50’s to early 60’s –Has a huge ego *Nathaniel Hawthorne is the author of the Scarlett Letter; he added the ‘W’ in his name to not be identified as a family member to the judge 3) Symbols: The Three Defenses: FAILED 1: Francis trying to save Rebecca = a petition of 91 names FAILED 2: Giles trying to save Martha = Putnam’s land FAILED 3: John trying to save Elizabeth = Mary Warren’s deposition (John’s attempts for ruin Abby’s character) = 1. She laughs in church meetings (failed) 2. She was dancing in the woods (failed) 3. He “knows” her (failed) ACT IV 1) Setting: * Three months later on THE day (release/hanging) * Salem Jail Cell 2) Character: * Hopkins: -Unknown age –Jail guard