Arthur Miller's 'the Crucible': In What Ways Does The Title Of The Play Add Meaning And Become Reflected In The Action, Themes, Imagery And Characters Miller Presents Us With?

1242 words - 5 pages

Arthur Miller uses the title of his play "The Crucible" as a metaphor constantly throughout the text. A crucible is a container used to heat metals at a high temperature so the metal can be cast, often using intense pressure to do so. Crucibles are often also used to remove impurities from a substance, so that only the pure matter remains. The relevance of the title is apparent in many of the themes and issues of the play, and is demonstrated through striking imagery and the actions of characters that Miller portrays to us.The relevance of the play's title becomes evident during the first act, as we gradually piece together the information concerning the girls dancing. The kettle viewed by Reverend Parris, an argumentative and unreasonable man in his middle forties, mirrors a crucible. We are told that the girls had made a brew that contained a little frog and blood. This concoction was 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 more sinister force is released, or metaphorically speaking, the impurities are released due to the aid of a crucible.The dancing and the contents of the little pot seem to fuel the rumours, lies and tragedy of Salem. Suspicion soon engulfs the community and the little privacy that once existed suddenly shatters. Privacy was quickly interpreted to mean that people had some terrible fault to hide and there was an intense pressure for neighbours to reveal each other's sins. Here is evidence of how the play's title is reflected in the actions and words of the characters.In fact, Reverend Parris makes an ironic comment that is closely linked with the The Crucible:REVEREND PARRIS: '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.'Here "The Crucible" is once again used metaphorically to illustrate characters beliefs. The use of such words as 'boil' and 'burning down' are directly linked with the image of a crucible at work.The witch trials are also metaphorically a crucible for people's grudges, and their seeking of revenge. The play shows us also how people can give into their fear and superstition. Salem quickly turns into a melting pot of suspicion and vengeance with nearly everyone trying to pull power out of the pot. The witch trials provided an avenue to bring hostilities out into the open in a theocratic society that had little opportunity for speaking out.The trials are not really about witchcraft. Abigail Williams, a strikingly pretty seventeen-year-old orphan, admits to John Proctor, a well-respected farmer in his mid thirties, how the witchery is a hoax:ABIGAIL: 'We were dancing in the woods last night and my uncle leaped out on us. She took fright, is all'. Pp. 28Furthermore, the relationship between Abigail and Proctor is highlighted using imagery connected to the concept of a crucible....

Find Another Essay On Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible': In what ways does the title of the play add meaning and become reflected in the action, themes, imagery and characters Miller presents us with?

Honour and justice are two very important issues in the play "A View From the Bridge" by Arthur Miller, how does the author present these issues through the characters and action in the play?

893 words - 4 pages Wikipedia says honour is “the concept of a direct relation between one's virtues (or "values") and their status within society” and that justice is “the ideal, morally correct state of things and persons”. Honour and justice are in fact the two main issues surrounding Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge”. We can see these two elements right at the start of the play, with the story of Vinny Bolzano: the boy

The Puritan and Persecution Predicament in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1398 words - 6 pages in the crucible. Arthur Miller shows in the play that Persecution sometimes causes a domino effect of hysteria and moral panic.When a group of people are persecuted, sometimes people become suspicious of the people who are being accused. For example, in the Crucible, after Tituba says that she has seen more than one person with the devil, people immediately become concerned and try to think of other people in the town who are in the lower

In what ways does Arthur Miller present the failure of the American Dream?

1473 words - 6 pages Arthur Miller's main character is a failure: Willy Loman is eventually worth more dead than alive, and 'nobody's worth nothing dead'. All his life, he strives for the American dream - a good career, a loving wife, a house with a white picket fence. All his life he fails, either not achieving or only achieving in part, a shadowed mockery of his aspirations. He has all the trappings of success, but they are meaningless. Miller gives Willy the

Changing Characters in "The Crucible", by Arthur Miller

834 words - 3 pages In Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials begins to erupt as allegations are made on typical rivals. Arthur Miller portrays this event as a preposterous segment in our nation's history in his work called "The Crucible". In this extravagant play, Reverend Hale and Elizabeth Proctor take part in a drastic development that affects their entire role.Reverend Hale distinctively alters his perspective of the situation of the witch trials throughout the

Fear and Manipulation in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1067 words - 4 pages , Massachusetts, where a lot of times fear would be used to control anyone to blame another of witchcraft. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller elucidates this through Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams, and Mary Warren, that fear holds a great torment on the truth. Elizabeth Proctor is used in The Crucible to illustrate the powerful strength of what manipulation has over any living mortal. Typically an honest person under their religious faith would believe

What were the changes in John Proctor's character throughout the play "The Crucible"? ( Arthur Miller)

1941 words - 8 pages or stay true to his belief. By his final choice of getting hung, Proctor showedthat he had reached the title of an 'honest man' and was also honest to God. In this act, Halereturns to convince Elizabeth to plead with Proctor to sign a confession, even though it was a lie.Proctor had already considered the idea, but was unsure, and said to Elizabeth, 'I have beenthinking I would confess to them, Elizabeth. What say you? I give then that?' He then

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1647 words - 7 pages Arthur Miller's The Crucible In The Crucible there are many different ways in which Arthur Miller captivates the interest of the audience. These include the reasons for which Arthur Miller wrote the play, and various themes within the play such as love, hate, lies, betrayal, lust and injustice. There is an interest in the nature of the community, the ways in which the law operated and the moral and reasoning behind the

Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

3048 words - 12 pages Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written in 1952 by the twentieth century American playwright Arthur Miller (1915-.) Miller was born in New York and educated at the University of Michigan where he began to write plays. Most of Miller's plays are set in contemporary America and on the whole offer a realistic portrayal of life and society and the theme of self-realization is re-current e.g. John Proctor in 'The Crucible

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

859 words - 3 pages Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" 'The Crucible' was written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was brought before a committee in 1956 to answer charges of 'communist sympathy' and to name the people he had had meetings with up to twenty years before. Liberal writer, film directors, actors and actresses were all called before the committee. The committee often had lists of names of people who had attended meetings yet they still forced

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

664 words - 3 pages Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a tragic story of injustice suffered by an innocent community who are subjected to the hypocritical, prideful judges of their trial. These Judges use their power to eliminate evidence of their mistakes and return their community to puritanical ways. The leaders of Salem are not concerned with seeking the truth and justice, but with maintaining their authority and

Arthur Miller's The Crucible

2379 words - 10 pages next. In fact, The Crucible is in many ways parallel to a modern day soap opera, in that its success as a whole depends on how involved the viewers, or audience, become with the characters and the story line. Human psychology is such that to become involved in something, we have to be able to relate to it, in the case of a play, the situations portrayed and the reactions of the characters. Therefore they have to be true to life. This is one of

Similar Essays

Themes In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

921 words - 4 pages In every literary work, there are themes. A theme is a broad idea, moral or message of a book or story. One individual may construe the themes of a book or story differently than another, but that is the pure beauty of themes. One great literary work is The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller. Succinctly, the play is about the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. Throughout the story, the townspeople indict their

Relating The Themes Of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" To Present Day Society Title: American Cultural Puritanism And 'the Crucible'

724 words - 3 pages "American Cultural Puritanism and The Crucible"In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the playwright creates a scene based on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, yet the themes that the play conveys are still embedded in modern society. John Proctor, the protagonist, is condemned for speaking out against the Puritan leaders, indicating a theme of individual versus society. However, the play as a whole depicts a time of political manipulation, when the

Marriage Of John And Elizabeth In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

1020 words - 4 pages Marriage of John and Elizabeth in Arthur Miller's The Crucible John Proctor shows many strengths and weaknesses throughout The Crucible. He is honest, upright and blunt-spoken. His manliness acts a great strength, but also as a weakness, for this is what led him to his affair with Abigail. The guilt he feels over this contributes to his imprisonment and death as it prevents him from speaking out soon enough

Themes Of Power And Authority In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

2785 words - 11 pages and white. The concurrent running of the “Crucible” image also captures the quintessence of the courtroom as Abigial stirs up trouble among the people that have good reputation and loving natures in society. In a theocratic government, everything and everyone belongs to either God or the Devil. There are numerous examples of how Miller presents and develops the theme of power and authority, but it only unveils itself gradually through the play