The Crucible, takes place in the small Puritan village called Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The witchcraft trials grew out of the moral system of the Puritans. This split the town into two, those who were considered witches and those who wanted good.
The play begins at Reverend Parris' home, whose daughter Betty is ill. Parris is living with his daughter and his seventeen-year old niece Abigail. Parris believes that is daughters illness is from supernatural causes, so he sends for Reverend Hale. Betty first start to look ill after her father discovered her dancing in the woods with Abigail and his Negro slave, Tituba along with several other local girls. There are rumors going around that Betty's sickness is due to witchcraft. Parris doesn't want to admit to seeing his daughter and niece dancing in the woods, but Abigail says that she will admit to dancing and accept the punishment.
At this time, Thomas and Ann Putnam come into the story and talk to Parris saying that their daughter Ruth has become sick too. Ann admits to sending Ruth to Tituba the slave, because he knows how to talk to the dead and she could find out who murdered her seven children that died while they were infants. When the adult leave, Abigail talks about Betty's illness with Mercy Lewis and Mary Warren who are servants of the Putnams.. Abigail threatens them and told them not to tell anything except about the dancing and that Tituba conjured Ruth's sisters. Then, Betty hears people singing psalms outside, and she begins to scream. Then Reverend Parris comes and realizes that Betty cannot bear to hear the Lord's name.
Giles Corey and Rebecca Nurse are the next to come visit. Giles is an old man and Rebecca is a well-respected old woman. Rebecca says that Betty's illness isn't anything serious, but just a little childish phase.
Next, Reverend John Hale arrives. He's a scholarly man who looks for signs of the supernatural. Parris tells him about the dancing and Hale questions Abigail asking her if she sold her soul to Lucifer. So Abigail blames Tituba, saying that she forced Abigail and Betty drink blood and that she sent her spirit out. Finally, Putnam says that Tituba must be hanged! When Tituba realized that the only way to save herself is to admit to the charge, she says that the devil came to her and promised to send her back to Barbados.
The second act is about week later. John comes home late after a long day planting in the fields, and Elizabeth thinks that he went to the village. Elizabeth tells John that she must tell the constable that Abigail claims that Betty's sickness has nothing to do with witchcraft, but Proctor says that nobody will believe him because he was alone with Abigail at the time and Elizabeth is disturbed by this. Mary tells them that thirty-nine people have been arrested and Sarah Osburn will hang, but not Sarah Good because she confessed.
John comes in and is weary. He tells the Proctors that Elizabeth's name was...