The Crucible: A Test of One’s Morals
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play based around the witch trials of 1692. Throughout the story, many characters are at crossroads with themselves, questioning their own beliefs. The word “crucible” also means a “severe moral test”, which most characters go through at some point in the play. The most prominent situations in which crucibles are present include the situations of Abigail Williams, John Proctor, and Reverend Hale. The task Abigail has to complete is to continue to pretend to see the devil. John’s crucible is to prove that he’s not a man of the devil, and Hale’s crucible is to defend his beliefs and defend those who are accused. All three of these characters face a test of their morals and find a way to overcome their issues.
Abigail Williams faces the task of keeping up her act of pretending to see the devil. She begins accusing people of witchcraft to cover up her own lies and the accusations lead to 19 deaths by hanging. In the court, Abigail pretends to see the spirit of Mary Warren walking on the rafters in the courthouse. The two people who believe that Abigail lies are Reverend Hale and John Proctor, yet Abigail’s act convinces Danforth enough to believe in Abigail’s lies. “Why-…Why do you come, yellow bird?” the main point at which Abigail pretends to see the devil as a shape shifter in the shape of Mary Warren (Miller 114).
John Proctor faces the task of proving himself not to be a man of the devil and to prove his innocence. When the witch trials begin, Reverend Hale questions John and asks him to recite the Ten Commandments and misses one Commandment (ironically, the Commandment regarding adultery), and thus begins Proctor’s quest to prove himself not to be of the devil. Later on in the play, Proctor makes a false confession to save his life, however, he tears it up stating “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another name in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies!” (Miller 143)....