The Crucible Act I

Report
The Crucible
Act I
At the beginning of Act 1, Reverend
Parris is kneeling beside a bed in
prayer. Who is in the bed? And why
is he praying?
His daughter, Betty Parris
 Reverend Parris is praying because Betty
will not wake.

Why does Reverend Parris fear the
villager’s response to the rumor
that his daughter has been afflicted?

It could cost him his ministry and his
daughter her life.
When Reverend Parris first questions his
niece Abigail about what she, Betty, and the
other girls were doing in the forest the
night before, what does she admit too?

Abigail admits to dancing, but she swears
that is all they did—no witchcraft was
involved.
After Parris tells Abigail about
“enemies who would like to “ruin” him,
what does he tell her that a “faction”
has sworn too?

A “faction” has “sworn to drive him from
the pulpit.” In other words, remove him
from his position as reverend.
What reason does Abigail give
Reverend Parris for her discharge as
the Proctor’s servant? What does
Abigail call Goody Proctor?
Goody Proctor hates her because she
would not be her slave.
 A “bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling
woman” and “a gossiping liar.”

What was the real reason for
her dismissal?

Goody Proctor felt that Abigail was having
an inappropriate relationship (an affair)
with her husband.
After talking to Parris about
“hurtful, vengeful spirits layin’ hands
on these children,” Putnam asks his
wife to tell Parris what she has
done. What does she say?

She sent her daughter, Ruth, to Tituba to
have her speak to the dead to find out
who “murdered” her seven babies.
When Mrs. Putnam tells Parris that
her babies were murdered, on
whom does her husband place the
blame?

A murdering witch, keeping herself in the
dark.
According to Putnam, what do the
villagers want Parris to do?

Putnam says the villagers want Parris to
strike out against the Devil and to speak
and pray with them.
After Abigail rouses Betty from her
trance by shaking her furiously, what
does Betty say Abigail did in the
forest that she didn’t tell Parris
about?

Betty says that Abigail drank blood as a
charm to kill Goody Proctor.
When John Proctor arrives in Betty’s
room, he looks at the unconscious
Betty and asks Abigail to explain “this
mischief here.” What explanation does
Abigail give him for Betty’s condition?

Abigail says that Betty has “only gone silly
somehow.” They were dancing in the
woods when Parris leapt in on them and
Betty took fright.
After Proctor tells Abigail that she is
“wicked yet,” what does she ask him
to give her? What does Abigail want
from John Proctor?
“a soft word.”
 She hopes that he still loves her.

When Proctor prepares to leave to
drag some lumber from his “forest
by the riverside,” who claims that
“tract” to be in his bounds?

Putnam
Why does Parris send for the
Reverend Hale?

Hale is experienced in witchcraft
When Reverend Hale begins to
instruct everyone about witchcraft,
what does he warn against?

Being led by superstition.
Who initially accuses Tituba of
witchcraft? Why?
Abigail
 To remove suspicion from herself.

How does Tituba first respond to
Hale’s accusation of witchcraft?

At first Tituba denies any dealings with
the devil.
With what does Parris threaten
Tituba?

He tells her to confess or be whipped to
death.
How does Tituba change her
response?

She says that the Devil tempted her and
showed her others who were in his
service.
Why might Tituba, as well as Abigail
and Betty, make accusations at the
end of Act 1?

They might hope to avoid punishment by
accusing others.
How many do they accuse at the
end of Act 1?

Eleven
At the close of act 1, why does
Reverend Hale shout for the
marshal to bring irons?

He is caught up in the frenzy and hysteria
of the accusations.
Literary Elements
Dialogue &
Atmosphere
Which characters do the main
questioning in Act 1?

Parris and Hale
Which characters are the
subjects being questioned?

Abigail and Tituba
What do the characters hope to
determine by asking their questions?

Whether the children are truly ill or were
involved in witchcraft.
What is the overall atmosphere,
or prevailing mood, of act 1?

Terror, suspense, mystery, tension
How does Miller create this
atmosphere?

Through the fears expressed by the
characters or through the underlying
tension and mistrust that runs through
the dialogue.
Describe the feelings the characters
seem to have for one another in Act
1. (Especially Parris, Proctor, Putnam,
and Corey.)

The overall atmosphere of greed and
frustration. Feelings of hatred, fear,
jealousy, and resentment between the
characters create more disputes and lead
to accusations.
THEMES
Integrity/Courage
“… I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever
reach for you again.”(Proctor, 1045)
Authority
“Out of here!” “Out of my sight!” (Parris,
1037)
Hypocrisy
“Goody Ann, it is a formidable sin to
conjure up the dead!” (Parris, 1040)
“Why would he choose my house to strike?
We have all manner of licentious people in
the village.” (Parris, 1052)
Manipulation
“Listen now; if they be questioning us, tell
them we danced – I told him as much already.”
(Abigail, 1042)
“Oh, we’ll be whipped!” (Abigail, 1042)
“I will come to you in the black of some
terrible night and I will bring a pointy
reckoning that will shudder you.” “I can make
you wish you had never seen the sun go
down!” (Abigail, 1042-1043)
Hysteria
“Uncle, the rumor of witchcraft is all
about;” (Abigail, 1038)
“… the whole country’s talkin’ witchcraft!
(Mary Warren, 1042)
Guilt
“I may have looked up.” (Proctor, 1045)
Deception
“There is nothin’ more. I swear it, uncle.”
(Abigail, 1039)
“My name is good in the village! I will not
have it said my name is soiled! Goody
Proctor is a gossiping liar! (Abigail, 1039)
Pride
“Oh, my God! God help me! (Parris, 1037)
“… my ministry’s at stake, my ministry and
perhaps your cousin’s life.” (Parris, 1039)
“Now I am undone … They will topple me
with this! (Parris, 1041)
Fear
“… my enemies will bring it out … do you
understand that I have many enemies?”
(Parris, 1038)
“Abby, we’ve got to tell. Witchery’s a
hangin’ error, a hangin’ like they done in
Boston two year ago! (Mary Warren, 1042)

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