Does Title Crucible Relate Story Essay

This section contains 217 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)

Summary: Essay describes how the word "crucible" relates to the play "The Crucible."


Two definitions of the word "crucible" can apply to the title of the play The Crucible, "a container for melting or purifying metals" and "a severe test." The village of Salem was a strict puritan community, a container. The contents of this container are the God-fearing people of Salem along with their feelings and emotions. Fueled by the lies and blasphemy in the town, they're finally brought to a "melting point" where they buy into the deceit and start to charge witchcraft. The accusations of witchcraft can also been seen as a melting pot. At first, slaves and vagrants were the victims of the claims. Eventually, witchcraft became an indiscriminate foe when well-known citizens were charged such as Rebecca Nurse, George Jacobs, and Elizabeth and John Procter. The crimes were charged in attempt to purify the community of the influence of Satan. The entire community of Salem was put through a "severe test" throughout the trials. The test was of faith in God and the court, and their faith in the court was wavering by the end of the play. John Proctor was put through a severe test of faith in himself, and came through in the end by finding the good in himself and refusing to cast away his name in signing a confession.

This section contains 217 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)

A crucible is a bowl in which substances are ground and then purified.  As the term is used in the title of this play, "crucible" represents both a test and a purification process.  The major characters are placed in situations that try their characters.  According to the laws at that time, anyone accused of witchcraft was brought before the courts to testify. Answering "no" to a charge of witchcraft could result in death at the gallows, since the jury generally ruled that the person was, in fact, a witch.  Answering "yes" led to imprisonment, so that the accused could await sentencing.  In either case, all real property was lost; the state confiscated it.  

John Proctor, Goody Nurse, and Giles Corey are tested by the courts, and all go to their deaths.  Despite their pleas of innocence, both Proctor and Nurse are hanged.  Giles Corey refuses to plead, for he knows that he will lose his property either way.  As a result of his stubbornness, he is pressed to death.  

The theocratic government of the colony ruled absolutely in all trials related to suspected witchcraft.  Residents were bound to abide by the rules of the church leaders. To ignore the rules of the church was to place oneself in a dangerous position.  In that way, then, the church leaders placed their church members in a perpetual test.  The witch trials purified the community by diminishing the degree of control the theocrats held over it.

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