The crucible arthur miller



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THE CRUCIBLE – ARTHUR MILLER

Answer EITHER QUESTION 15 (essay question) OR QUESTION 16 (contextual

question).

QUESTION 15: THE CRUCIBLE – ESSAY QUESTION

Arthur Miller cleverly picked the title "The Crucible" for his play about the Salem witch hunts of the 1660's because of the word's many meanings. Throughout the play, Miller has characters face severe tests that make them question their own self.

In an essay of 400–450 words (2–2½ pages), discuss how three characters are put through a crucible. How does each of the characters become transformed by the experience? [25]

OR

QUESTION 16: THE CRUCIBLE – CONTEXTUAL QUESTION

Read the extracts below and then answer the questions that follow.



EXTRACT A

MARY WARREN: I am sick, I am sick, Mr Proctor. Pray, pray, hurt me not. [Her strangeness throws him off, and her evident pallor and weakness. He frees her.] My insides are all shuddery; I am in the proceedings all day, sir.

PROCTOR: [with draining anger- his curiosity is draining it]: And what of these proceedings here? When will you proceed to keep this house, as you are paid 5

nine pound a year to do- and my wife not wholly well?



[As though to compensate, Mary Warren goes to Elizabeth with a small rag doll]

MARY WARREN: I made a gift for you today, Good Proctor. I had to sit long hours in a chair, and passed the time with sewing.

ELIZABETH [perplexed, looking at the doll]: Why, thank you, it’s a fair poppet. 10

MARY WARREN [with trembling, decayed voice]: We must all love each other now, Goody Proctor.

ELIZABETH [amazed at her strangeness]: Aye, indeed we must.

MARY WARREN [glancing at the room]: I’ll get up early in the morning and clean the house. I must sleep now. [She turns and start off] 15

PROCTOR: Mary.

[She halts]

Is this true? There be fourteen women arrested?

MARY WARREN: No, sir. There be thirty-nine now- [She suddenly breaks off and sobs and sits down, exhausted.] 20

ELIZABETH: Why, she is weepin’! What ails you, child?

MARY WARREN: Goody Osburn-will hang!

[There is a shocked pause, while she sobs.]

PROCTOR: Hang! [He calls into her face.] Hang, y’say?

MARY WARREN [through her weeping]: Aye. 25

PROCTOR: The Deputy Governor will permit it?

MARY WARREN: He sentenced her. He must. [To ameliorate it.] But not Sarah Good. For Sarah confessed, y’see.

PROCTOR: Confessed! To what?

MARY WARREN: That she-[ in horror at the memory]- she sometimes made a 30 compact with Lucifer, and wrote her name in his black book- with her blood- and bound herself to torment Christians till God’s thrown down- and all must worship Hell forevermore.

[Pause]

PROCTOR: But – surely you know what a jabberer she is. Did you tell them that? 35

16.1. Refer to line 1 “Pray, pray, hurt me not”.

Explain the reason for Proctor’s anger. (2)

16.2. Where has Mary Warren been? (2)

16.3. Refer to lines 3-6 “I am in the proceedings…not wholly well”.

The word proceeding is used twice. Explain the context in each case. (2x2=4)

16.4. In what ways is Mary Warren’s gift questionable? (2x2=4)

16.5. In light of events later in the play, how is this scene significant? (2x2=4)

EXTRACT B

DANFORTH: Child, I would have you consider it-

ABIGAIL: I have been hurt, Mr Danforth; I have seen my blood runnin’ out! I have been near to murdered every day because I done my duty pointing out the Devil’s people- and this is my reward? To be mistrusted, denied, questioned like a-

DANFORTH [weakening]: Child, I do not mistrust you- 5

ABIGAIL [in an open threat]: Let you beware, Mr Danforth. Think you be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits? Beware of it! There is-

[Suddenly, from an accusatory attitude, her face turns, looking into the air above-it is truly frightened.]

16.6. Describe the circumstances that have led up to this moment in the play (3)

16.7. Abigail has been accused of hypocrisy and vengefulness. Discuss how these

traits of her personality are brought out in this text. (3)

16.7. Is Mr Danforth a capable judge in matters of witchcraft in Salem? Justify

your answer citing from the play. (3)



TOTAL: 25

MEMORANDUM

THE CRUCIBLE – ARTHUR MILLER

Answer EITHER QUESTION 15 (essay question) OR QUESTION 16 (contextual

question).

QUESTION 15: THE CRUCIBLE – ESSAY QUESTION

Arthur Miller cleverly picked the title "The Crucible" for his play about the Salem witch hunts of the 1660's because of the word's many meanings. Throughout the play, Miller has characters face severe tests that make them question their own self.

In an essay of 400–450 words (2–2½ pages), discuss how three characters are put through a crucible. How does each of the characters become transformed by the experience? [25]

The following suggestions serve only as a guideline.


  1. A crucible is also an earthen pot that is used for melting metals

  2. In a way the town of Salem was a crucible as people were brought before the court: (Must mention one character.

  3. They were either forced to give in and live a lie or be hanged. Those that refused and were hanged must be mentioned. John Proctor’s change of testimony must be mentioned

  4. The term crucible could also be used to describe the heat of the situation: Innocent people were caught up in the witch hunt blown completely out of proportion. Mention one character: a different one from the first.

  5. The crucible may also symbolize Hell: substances in a crucible melt and disintegrate they form a completely different substance. This could symbolize the society of Salem disintegrating and forming into a completely new one. After the situation had been heated what you are left with are the remnants of society that once existed. A third character must be mentioned.

  6. The true meaning of the word crucible was a severe test: John Proctor underwent the most severe test and as a result his character underwent a drastic change throughout the play. The ultimate test that John Proctor undergoes is the final decision that he makes before he dies.

  7. Proctor was also undergoing a difficult time in his marriage with Elizabeth: In the final two scenes, John Proctor was willing to ruin his name by stating that he did in fact have an affair with Abigail in order to prove the accusers wrong


OR

QUESTION 16: THE CRUCIBLE – CONTEXTUAL QUESTION

Read the extracts below and then answer the questions that follow.



EXTRACT A

MARY WARREN: I am sick, I am sick, Mr Proctor. Pray, pray, hurt me not. [Her strangeness throws him off, and her evident pallor and weakness. He frees her.] My insides are all shuddery; I am in the proceedings all day, sir.

PROCTOR: [with draining anger- his curiosity is draining it]: And what of these proceedings here? When will you proceed to keep this house, as you are paid 5

nine pound a year to do- and my wife not wholly well?



[As though to compensate, Mary Warren goes to Elizabeth with a small rag doll]

MARY WARREN: I made a gift for you today, Good Proctor. I had to sit long hours in a chair, and passed the time with sewing.

ELIZABETH [perplexed, looking at the doll]: Why, thank you, it’s a fair poppet. 10

MARY WARREN [with trembling, decayed voice]: We must all love each other now, Goody Proctor.

ELIZABETH [amazed at her strangeness]: Aye, indeed we must.

MARY WARREN [glancing at the room]: I’ll get up early in the morning and clean the house. I must sleep now. [She turns and start off] 15

PROCTOR: Mary.

[She halts]

Is this true? There be fourteen women arrested?

MARY WARREN: No, sir. There be thirty-nine now- [She suddenly breaks off and sobs and sits down, exhausted.] 20

ELIZABETH: Why, she is weepin’! What ails you, child?

MARY WARREN: Goody Osburn-will hang!

[There is a shocked pause, while she sobs.]

PROCTOR: Hang! [He calls into her face.] Hang, y’say?

MARY WARREN [through her weeping]: Aye. 25

PROCTOR: The Deputy Governor will permit it?

MARY WARREN: He sentenced her. He must. [To ameliorate it.] But not Sarah Good. For Sarah confessed, y’see.

PROCTOR: Confessed! To what?

MARY WARREN: That she-[ in horror at the memory]- she sometimes made a 30 compact with Lucifer, and wrote her name in his black book- with her blood- and bound herself to torment Christians till God’s thrown down- and all must worship Hell forevermore.

[Pause]

PROCTOR: But – surely you know what a jabberer she is. Did you tell them that? 35

16.1. Refer to line 1 “Pray, pray, hurt me not”.

Explain the reason for Proctor’s anger. (2)



Answer: Mary has not been working as she is supposed to, for the Proctors. √

She had gone to Salem against Proctor’s instruction. √

16.2. Where has Mary Warren been? (2)



Answer: She has been attending the Witch trials√√

16.3. Refer to lines 3-6 “I am in the proceedings…not wholly well”.

The word proceedings is used twice. Explain the context in each case. (2x2=4)

Answer: The witch trials√√

The housekeeping duties√√

16.4. In what ways is Mary Warren’s gift questionable? (2x2=4)



Answer: Dolls are not acceptable under Puritanism√√

It has pins on it √√

16.5. In light of events later in the play, how is this scene significant? (2x2=4)



Answer: Highlights the role played by malice and hypocrisy√√

It becomes the source of the tragedy that sends Elizabeth to prison√√

EXTRACT B

DANFORTH: Child, I would have you consider it-

ABIGAIL: I have been hurt, Mr Danforth; I have seen my blood runnin’ out! I have been near to murdered every day because I done my duty pointing out the Devil’s people- and this is my reward? To be mistrusted, denied, questioned like a-

DANFORTH [weakening]: Child, I do not mistrust you- 5

ABIGAIL [in an open threat]: Let you beware, Mr Danforth. Think you be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits? Beware of it! There is-

[Suddenly, from an accusatory attitude, her face turns, looking into the air above-it is truly frightened.]

16.6. Describe the circumstances that have led up to this moment in the play (3)



Answer: Mary has changed her testimony about witch visitations and satan√

Mr Parris denies having seen the girls dancing naked in the forest√

Abigail is called in to testify√

16.7. Abigail has been accused of hypocrisy and vengefulness. Discuss how these

traits of her personality are brought out in this text. (3)

Answer: Hypocrisy: she hates Elizabeth for being Proctor’s wife√

She lies about continuously seeing the evil spirits in the courtroom√

Vengefulness: She deliberately lies to punish Elizabeth and Proctor√

16.7. Is Mr Danforth a capable judge in matters of witchcraft in Salem? Justify



your answer citing from the play. (3)

Answer: He does not allow people to address the court in defence of assumed

culprits√

He is easily swayed by Abigail’s tricks during the trial√

He accuses Proctor of witchcraft on Mary’s utterance and without

justifiable cause√

Accept other reasonable arguments

TOTAL: 25

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