Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5

Why did Arthur Miller title the play The Crucible?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Why did Arthur Miller title the play The Crucible? The play has nothing to do with a crucible so why then? In fact, a crucible is used as a metaphor for all the events that happen in the play. Arthur Miller uses the title, The Crucible symbolically to represent the intensity of the trials and the power of hysteria as it applies to John Proctor and Giles Corey. The title, The Crucible is a metaphor for the events that happen throughout the play there are multiple definitions for a crucible. The one that applies in this situation is, "a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures" (dictionary.com). The way a crucible works is you heat it until the metal or material in the container melts which is exactly what happens in the city. The heat is like hysteria and as the heat increases hysteria grows until the substance is melted and everything of the original is changed into a mixed substance.

Middle

I have forgot Abigail, and-!"(54). The quote shows proctor and his wife, Elizabeth fighting about his relationship with Abigail. He told Elizabeth the truth about his relationship and it has caused his relationship to heat up into an uncomfortable state for seven months before the trials have begun. For Proctor this event has already given him a trial of right and wrong. Proctor reaches the highest point in his tests as they are crucibles when he says, "You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore" (120). Proctor has just said that this court is destroying heaven and raising up the children and Abigail in specifics as Saints. Proctor's life has completely melted in his crucible as he just threw away his good name and soul. He says God is dead and the town is going to hell when they think they are doing what is right. The only person still out there that is able to see the truth is Hale and he immediately denounces the court.

Conclusion

Putnam, I have here an accusation by Mr. Corey against you. He states that you coldly prompted your daughter to cry witchery upon George Jacobs that is now in jail" (96). When he accuses Putnam his heart is in the right place and when he is forced to give the name of his source he refuses to just to protect his friend. It shows that even if someone accuses someone else of false accusation it is meaningless as they are all stuck in this mass hysteria with no chance of escape. Giles ends up dying by press when they are interrogating him because he wanted to protect his family and friends, which shows that death is the only escape from it. The title, The Crucible is a metaphor that represents the power of the witch trials and the strength of the mass hysteria which applies to John Proctor and Giles Corey along with many other characters. The characters were all tested and only a few remained true and separate from the melting pot, while many others fell into the mixture. In the end the truth killed those who truly realized what was happening and hysteria destroys the town.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

Related AS and A Level Arthur Miller

  1. "The Crucible yields a number of scenes which are prime examples of Arthur Millers ...

    When we discover Proctor "has known her" and she is a "harlot" our esteem of her decreases even further. Here again her stage actions make her seem evil, witch-like: "She comes up short, fire in her eyes". When Elizabeth says: "No, sir", we feel at once that Abigail is going to counter-attack which she does "with a weird chilling cry".

  2. How does Arthur Miller present The character of Reverend Hale in 'The Crucible'.

    He starts to realize that these simple men and woman could not perform and sort any sort of witchcraft. Firstly, we see a somewhat different Hale in Act 3 than the earlier Acts. Even though he is an official of the court, it is like, he is defending those who are accused of witchcraft.

  1. The Crucible Revision Notes

    You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise timeâwe live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world.

  2. Explore Millers presentation of Proctor in The Crucible. How far do you agree with ...

    unfaithful to his loyal wife, and on the other hand we feel a bit sorry for him as he takes all the blame for what has happened. As well as pity we are also filled with the sense of catharsis, and we sigh with relief that everything is out in

  1. Act 4 of The Crucible provides a powerfully dramatic conclusion to the play. ...

    Abigail demonstrates a great ability for self-preservation: she admits what she must at appropriate times, and places the blame for her actions at the most convenient source, Tituba, when she realizes that it is the savviest course of action. Abigail's lack of any morality renders her willingness and ability to charge others with witchery no matter the consequences.

  2. The Crucible Analysis

    Abigail sets an example of cognitive dissonance and how it affects the actions someone follows through with. In the tenth edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, "cognitive dissonance" is a "psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously," ("cognitive dissonance" def.

  1. The Crucible

    One of whom is Reverend Parris who cares less about his own daughter's condition and more about his reputation and position within the community: "There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit." From this he seems to be well aware that there are those who

  2. Miller's dramatic writing in The Crucible

    "relief" at finally being able to blame her false condition on somebody else and stop pretending to be asleep because of her fear of punishment. The power of the last part of the scene is marked by the curtain begining to fall just before the end and by the shrills

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.