Why Is the Crucible so Called Essay

2321 WordsSep 25, 199910 Pages
How is ‘The Crucible’ appropriately titled? The word ‘crucible’ is used by Arthur Miller in his play as a metaphor. The first definition of the word crucible is: a melting pot especially for metals. In the play this is first acknowledged during the first act, as we gradually piece together the information concerning the girls dancing. The ‘kettle’ viewed by Reverend Parris mirrors a crucible. We are told that the girls had made a brew which contained a little frog and blood is therefore 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. The dancing and…show more content…
The pressures show in the people many of whom become hysterical. The play examines the permanent conditions of the climate of hysteria and the consequences. The situation escalates and we watch the strange moral alchemy by which the accused become inviolable; the disrepute which overtakes the testimony of simple intelligence; the insistence on public penance; the willingness to absolve if guilt is confessed. The etymology of the word crucible also has direct connotations with the play. The word is devrived from the Latin Crucibulum, with the first part of the Latin being similar to the Latin word Crux (a cross). This is linked to the play in several ways. Firstly, the play is written around the story of a good hardworking man, John Proctor whom however is a sinner. The play is concerned with the changes taking place in his life leading to his decision to hang, his vicissitude. He does not want to save himself by sullying the good names of others. The events of the play are really the crossroads of his life in the way that he must either between saving his life, with lies or dying for what he really believes in and finding his truth. He finds this very difficult and says to his wife towards the end of the play ‘Let Rebecca go like a saint, for me it is a fraud’. He feels because he is already a sinner he will go
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