Meaning and Symbolism in the Crucible by Arthur Miller

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Meaning and Symbolism in the Crucible by Arthur Miller

By | June 2008
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Crucible Meaning Essay
Crucible, a noun defined as; a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures, in the traditional sense but, it also means a severe, searching test or trial. The latter of the two definitions is exactly what Arthur Miller had in mind when he wrote the play, The Crucible. The play set in Salem Massachusetts during the start of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, is about the struggle to discover truth within the twisted and brutal lies flying about the little town, started mainly by a young girl by the name of Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams, as we quickly come to know, is the past mistress of the prominent Mr. John Proctor, a local farmer. As the tension rises in the little town, secrets are spilt and accusations run rampant out of the mouth of the young girl and her, also young, cohorts. It becomes easy to see the significance of the crucible within the story. The significance of the title in Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible is that the persecution towards the people who were being accused of witchcraft were put through both literal and theoretical fires, just as metal and ores are put into a crucible to melt such as; when Goody Proctor was accused of witchcraft, when Abigail was brought on trial, and when John Proctor’s affair was brought to the publics eye. A severe, searching test or trial

First, the significance of the title The Crucible is when the deceitful young Abigail Williams accused Goody Proctor of witchcraft. This scenario shows the meaning of the crucible in the play because Goody Proctor was put through the theoretical fires of trial for witchcraft. Goody Proctor had to face the lying and deception of young Abigail Williams and her gaggle of young followers, who were too afraid to try and correct the wrong that Abigail had done, who all in all was trying only to preserve herself. Elizabeth is put through the ringer with vigorous test after test, accusation after...

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