Study Questions to accompany Act One of
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Directions: Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. 1.
Where and when is the opening scene of the play set?
Why is the Reverend Samuel Parris so distraught at the beginning of Act One? What unnerves him about the report Susanna Walcott brings from Doctor Griggs? Why has Parris sent for Reverend Hale from Beverly? 3.
What do we learn in the exposition of the play about the events in the forest? About Abigail Williams's past connections with the Proctor family? 4.
What information about Thomas Putnam does Arthur Miller tell us in his expository aside? What does Ann Putnam claim in the play about her dead babies? 5.
Before the arrival of John Hale, what are some of subjects for petty disagreement among John Proctor, Giles Corey, Thomas Putnam and Samuel Parris? 6.
According to the stage directions, how does John Hale enter the first time? 7.
What happens when John Hale interrogates Tituba? How does the atmosphere of the scene become hysterical at the end of the act? 8. What causes the crying out of names at the end of the act? 9.
In the course of this act, Miller includes a number of commentaries, or expository asides, in the published versions of the play. In the first aside, what does Miller say about the Puritans' outlook toward the virgin forest? What does he mean when he characterizes the puritan community in Salem at this period as a Theocracy? 10.
Miller often foreshadows his characterizations with a descriptive phrase in the stage directions just before a character's first entrance. In the stage directions, what does he suggest about each of these characters: Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam, and Mercy Lewis? How do the dialogue and actions of each character in this act bear out Miller's suggestions? 11.
Summarize your impressions of the Reverend Samuel Parris in this act. Where are his principal flaws or moral weaknesses? Identify and record two...
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